Book Talk: Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman

Hey guys!
Some of you might have read my review on The Rules of Magic, which is the prequel to Practical Magic. So, after I was over the moon with the prequel, I naturally had to check out the original book. So let’s talk about it!

Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman (Cover from Goodreads)
The Plot:

The Owens sisters Gillian and Sally couldn’t be more different. Whereas Gillian has always been a wanderer, Sally craved steadiness.
However, due to their family history both were bound to encounter troublesome lives. Maria Owens, their ancestor, and a witch cursed those the Owens women fall in love with.
It soon turns out, this will be the least of their problems…

The Rating:

As I mentioned before, the first thing I read was the prequel The Rules of Magic which I really enjoyed. I would have started with Practical Magic but it was not available at the library at the time and now I’m glad I started with the other book. 
Practical Magic was rather disappointing for me and had I read this one first, I wouldn’t even have bothered with the prequel.

The book was turned into a movie in 1998, so I thought I knew what to expect. However, those two are quite different and I’m not sure I like it. (But more on that matter in a book vs. movie post.)

The first third of Alice Hoffman’s novel was lovely and fascinating. I liked the characters and was excited to follow them on their journey. But at some point it all went downhill. 

Why?

Well, first of all, the book is titled Practical Magic, so you’d expect some magic in there, wouldn’t you? Some stuff the aunts do is described at the beginning, but after a while, the whole magical topic kind of dies and is never to be seen again. This annoyed me a great deal!

Furthermore, there is so much whining and self-pity going on, I just want to slap the characters in the face. Everybody is so beautiful but oh so unsure about themselves. The sisters (and Sally’s daughters) constantly complain about everything. And Alice Hoffman seems to be a huge fan of lists, so we get endless lamentations of all the things that might not be rainbows and butterflies. To be honest, I couldn’t bring myself to care for any of the characters – they only managed to get me to roll my eyes constantly.

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