Magic Lessons by Alice Hoffman, 5 Stars

I distinctly remember reading The Rules of Magic last summer. It was everything that summer reading can be. I read it over the course of a couple days spent at the pool. Sun shining, kids playing in the background, the soothing sound of running water, waterslides and splashing. Ahhh. The life and what I look forward to every summer.

So unlike this summer. But, it’s almost Labor Day, think its time for me to stop mourning the pool never opening? And while I didn’t get to enjoy the blissful days of summer quite as I am used to, it was probably a good break for my skin to avoid being in the sun all summer long. Glass half full? Sigh.

Anyhow, it’s been a scorcher this summer and I mostly enjoyed it from my desk in the basement where I have to wear several layers of clothing to prevent myself from turning into an ice cube.

Still, reading Magic Lessons by Alice Hoffman was definitely a bright spot in my summer. Because no matter where you are, it’s easy to get lost in a good book.

From the Publisher:

In an unforgettable novel that traces a centuries-old curse to its source, beloved author Alice Hoffman unveils the story of Maria Owens, accused of witchcraft in Salem, and matriarch of a line of the amazing Owens women and men featured in Practical Magic and The Rules of Magic.

Where does the story of the Owens bloodline begin? With Maria Owens, in the 1600s, when she’s abandoned in a snowy field in rural England as a baby. Under the care of Hannah Owens, Maria learns about the “Unnamed Arts.” Hannah recognizes that Maria has a gift and she teaches the girl all she knows. It is here that she learns her first important lesson: Always love someone who will love you back.

When Maria is abandoned by the man who has declared his love for her, she follows him to Salem, Massachusetts. Here she invokes the curse that will haunt her family. And it’s here that she learns the rules of magic and the lesson that she will carry with her for the rest of her life. Love is the only thing that matters.

Magic Lessons is a celebration of life and love and a showcase of Alice Hoffman’s masterful storytelling.

My Review:

What is there to say, really? Alice Hoffman is such a master story-teller, I knew the book would be amazing. And it was. Hoffman takes us all the way back to the 1600’s where we meet Maria Owens, the matriarch of The Owen’s Family featured in The Rules of Magic and the Practical Magic Series.

Maria’s life isn’t easy, orphaned at a young age, and then left to take care of herself after she loses her foster mother, she basically has nothing. Only her magic. She pulls herself up by the bootstraps and goes on a journey from Curacao to NYC, to Salem, just in time for the witch trials.

It’s an amazing story of resilience, fortitude, and love. But not just the good part of love, the part that tears us apart and rips us down and jeopardizes everything we hope to become in life. No spoilers here. This is a book that you want to enjoy as you pull back each layer one by one.

Magic Lessons releases on October 6, 2020. A welcome distraction from our current situation as summer turns to fall. Special thanks to Simon and Schuster and Netgalley for an advanced e-galley in exchange for my honest review. Pre-order your copy:


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