Practical Magic - Alice Hoffman

Practical Magic

By Alice Hoffman

  • Release Date: 1995-06-13
  • Genre: Literary
4 Score: 4 (From 164 Ratings)


The Owens sisters confront the challenges of life and love in this bewitching novel from the New York Times bestselling author of The Rules of Magic.

For more than two hundred years, the Owens women have been blamed for everything that has gone wrong in their Massachusetts town. Gillian and Sally have endured that fate as well: as children, the sisters were forever outsiders, taunted, talked about, pointed at. Their elderly aunts almost seemed to encourage the whispers of witchery, with their musty house and their exotic concoctions and their crowd of black cats. But all Gillian and Sally wanted was to escape. One will do so by marrying, the other by running away. But the bonds they share will bring them back—almost as if by magic...

“Splendid...Practical Magic is one of [Hoffman's] best novels, showing on every page her gift for touching ordinary life as if with a wand, to reveal how extraordinary life really is.”—Newsweek 

“[A] delicious fantasy of witchcraft and love in a world where gardens smell of lemon verbena and happy endings are possible.”—Cosmopolitan


  • Not for me

    By GAmom83
    I found this book to be tremendously boring. Hoffman’s style here is “tell, don’t show,” which gives the reader the impression that she’s building to a story or at least likeability. But she never gets there. I have never said this before—but the film is better.
  • The movie is better

    By Jennyfurann
    Alice Hoffman has a unique writing style that you can feel in her books. It's not one that resonates with me. I've read this and the Story Sisters. Didn't love either. However, I have seen the movie for practical magic and I adore it. It is almost like they are two separate stories! There are so many differences in the plot execution, and the disconnected way the book is written doesn't draw me into the characters the way the movie does. I usually prefer the book to the movie. Not here.
  • Amazing

    By Violetbsu
    A wonderful story of sisterhood, family, friendship and strife. I'll read it 100 more times!
  • Better than the movie...

    By Melinda's Laptop
    The movie bares little resemblance to the book. I loved the movie, but love the book that much more. The book has more to offer with more vivid characters and a stronger more compelling story.