Published by Simon Schuster on October 6, 2020
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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 “Nameless 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.
Bantering Books Review
The Practical Magic series is my literary comfort food.
I find Alice Hoffman’s tales of the mystical Owens women to be soothing. Healing. They soften my worries and ease my aches. It’s as if my entire being – mind, body, and spirit – is rejuvenated by her stories of these strong and brave, witchy women.
In Magic Lessons, Hoffman takes us back to the root of it all. She tells the story of Maria Owens, the family matriarch who, centuries ago, cast the curse that haunts the Owens bloodline. It’s a story for which I have waited years, always believing it to be a need-to-know piece of the family’s history.
And I now consider the novel to be a need-to-read piece of the family’s history. Because it is superb.
I was captivated by it. Utterly mesmerized. Once again, I fell prey to Hoffman’s magical spell, and it wasn’t until I contentedly thought, The End, that I awoke from her enchantment.
Magic Lessons is not my series favorite. The story is very slow moving, and Hoffman’s writing is even more long-winded than usual, with noticeably repetitive prose that gives the novel a lengthier-than-necessary feel.
Still, I will take long-winded, repetitive Hoffman any day. I am not one to complain about too much of a good thing.