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The rules of magic
2017
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Summary
** INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER **

** REESE WITHERSPOON BOOK CLUB PICK **

From beloved author Alice Hoffman comes the spellbinding prequel to her bestseller, Practical Magic .

Find your magic .

For the Owens family, love is a curse that began in 1620, when Maria Owens was charged with witchery for loving the wrong man.

Hundreds of years later, in New York City at the cusp of the sixties, when the whole world is about to change, Susanna Owens knows that her three children are dangerously unique. Difficult Franny, with skin as pale as milk and blood red hair, shy and beautiful Jet, who can read other people's thoughts, and charismatic Vincent, who began looking for trouble on the day he could walk.

From the start Susanna sets down rules for her children: No walking in the moonlight, no red shoes, no wearing black, no cats, no crows, no candles, no books about magic. And most importantly, never, ever, fall in love. But when her children visit their Aunt Isabelle, in the small Massachusetts town where the Owens family has been blamed for everything that has ever gone wrong, they uncover family secrets and begin to understand the truth of who they are. Back in New York City each begins a risky journey as they try to escape the family curse.

The Owens children cannot escape love even if they try, just as they cannot escape the pains of the human heart. The two beautiful sisters will grow up to be the revered, and sometimes feared, aunts in Practical Magic , while Vincent, their beloved brother, will leave an unexpected legacy. Thrilling and exquisite, real and fantastical, The Rules of Magic is a story about the power of love reminding us that the only remedy for being human is to be true to yourself.
Trade Reviews
School Library Journal Review
The gray-eyed Owens children have always been strange, and not just because they like black clothing and are oddly buoyant. Frances, the oldest, can communicate with birds; shy and beautiful middle sibling Bridget (nicknamed Jet for her black hair) can read minds; and the youngest, Vincent, is so winsome and irresistible that his obstetric nurse attempted to kidnap him. Growing up in New York City during the 1950s and 1960s, the children never fit in, until they visit Aunt Isabelle in Massachusetts and discover they are bloodline witches. Full of gifts and potential, the siblings are cursed with knowing too much about fate and the future. Though this coming-of-age tale is a prequel to Hoffman's Practical Magic, readers need not have read the earlier book-but they'll eagerly seek out the author's other work. The clever Owenses handle major crises such as the Vietnam War, first loves, and the death of family members, all while learning how to cope with their special abilities in a world that doesn't always value those who are different. Fans of magical realism and lyrical novels, such as Leslye Walton's The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender and Moïra Fowley-Doyle's The Accident Season, will appreciate Hoffman's descriptive and succinct way with words. -VERDICT Give to sophisticated teens who enjoy a bit of magic in their love stories.-Sarah Hill, Lake Land College, Mattoon, IL © Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Booklist Review
The Owens family has always been different. Not in a quirky, adorable way, but in a powerfully mystical and mysterious way. A family with witchcraft flowing through their veins since the days of the Salem witch trials, the Owens have their own way of seeing the world around them. Hoffman's prequel to her best-selling novel Practical Magic (1995) is set on the cusp of the turbulent and liberating 1960s, when three very unique children are forced to come to terms with the very unique gifts they've inherited. Sent to stay with their Aunt Isabelle in a tiny Massachusetts town for the summer, three Owens descendants uncover the spellbinding truth about their heritage. Stubborn Franny, beautiful Jet, and charming Vincent set off on their own paths, determined to undo the curse that's plagued the Owens for generations. Readers who grew up with Lemony Snicket's Baudelaire children, or those who enjoyed the magical intrigue of Lev Grossman's Magicians trilogy, will adore this enchanting, engrossing, and exhilarating novel.--Turza, Stephanie Copyright 2017 Booklist
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