The Rules of 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.
This book is so much fun! I’m a sucker for magical realism, so I pretty much adored this from page one. Hoffman creates such a magical world I felt like I was falling into the pages every time I opened the book to read. It’s a book about not just magic, but about family and the things that hold a family together or forces it apart. It’s so easy to be drawn into the world of the three siblings, Franny, Jet and Vincent, and root for them all the way, hoping that they get their happy ending, even though it seems impossible, because they are all cursed when it comes to matters of the heart. They are forbidden from falling in love, and as such, they do that very thing and this becomes the guts of the story.
I just loved everything about this book - the characters, the magic, the setting, the writing. I find Hoffman so easy to read, like eating a silky chocolate pudding and then being heartbroken when you discover you’ve devoured the last spoonful. I didn’t want this novel to end!
Granted, this won’t be for everyone, but if magical realism is your thing, or you just want to escape into a world that just might exist, then The Rules Of Magic is just what the doctor ordered.