Netgalley

Update and Review of The Rules Of Magic by Alice Hoffman

Update:
Finished: The Rules Of Magic by Alice Hoffman, from Netgalley review below.
Currently Reading: Summer at Little Beach Street Bakery by Jenny Colgan (couldn’t resist after enjoying the first book, read outside your confort zone!)
The Travelling Bag by Susan Hill, from Netgalley.

Review of The Rules Of Magic by Alice Hoffman

Title: The Rules of MagicAuthor: Alice HoffmanType of books: Ebook from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Release Date: 10th October 2017


The Rules of Magic is a prequel to Practical Magic, I’ve never read Practical Magic although I’ve watched the film and loved it. When I started reading The Rules of Magic I wanted to skip through until I found some action. The novel is written in the past tense and often it reads like a report rather than a narrative- you are told about something happening rather than witnessing it unfolding on the page. (Please note that there are just my opinions and everyone is different, so please read this novel yourself to see what you think.)
However, Alice Hoffman is a good storyteller and tells the story of three siblings who are learning about themselves and the magic that’s in their blood. It’s a sad and melancholy story. It’s not a fast paced tale but more of a slow burn.  We are taken through the lives of Jet, Franny and Vincent and introduced to the magic of herbs and spells. The characters are very real and I enjoyed reading about them and learning more about their world, the story really is about them it’s not about magic or witchcraft.
It doesn’t seem to have any conflict/problem that stands out, although there is a curse that needs to be broken which is given some thought. But having seen Practical Magic I know the curse won’t be broken so knowing the outcome I can’t get too involved in the conflict, in this way it feels like a prequel rather than a story you could read on it’s merit – things that are resolved in Practical Magic can’t be resolved in this novel. The history of the Owens’ and their ancestry is different to the film which isn’t a bad thing, I think I’d have to read Practical Magic to better understand how these books fit together, especially with regard to the curse and the family history before I can really form an opinion.
I have mixed opinions of the style of this book sometimes the past tense report-like narrative frustrated me. But then the description of the places made me feel like I was actually there. There is no dominating conflict or problem, but maybe it’s not meant to, it’s a good story of three very real characters, whose lives I was drawn into.  There are tense scenes and mystery told at it’s own time and pace, in keeping with the feel of the novel. In making me care about the characters and making me feel sad Alice Hoffman has done her job as a novelist.
I will definitely read Practical Magic. The Rules of Magic is a sad but enchanting story and it has stayed with me after I’ve finished reading.

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