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Publisher's Summary

Alice Hoffman's enchanting witch's brew of suspense, romance and magic - now a major motion picture from Warner Bros.

When the beautiful and precocious sisters Sally and Gillian Owens are orphaned at a young age, they are taken to a small Massachusetts town to be raised by their eccentric aunts, who happen to dwell in the darkest, eeriest house in town. As they become more aware of their aunts' mysterious and sometimes frightening powers - and as their own powers begin to surface - the sisters grow determined to escape their strange upbringing by blending into "normal" society.

But both find that they cannot elude their magic-filled past. And when trouble strikes - in the form of a menacing backyard ghost - the sisters must not only reunite three generations of Owens women but embrace their magic as a gift - and their key to a future of love and passion.

Funny, haunting, and shamelessly romantic, Practical Magic is bewitching entertainment - Alice Hoffman at her spectacular best.

©2012 Alice Hoffman (P)2012 Simon & Schuster, Inc

Critic Reviews

"Huffman's best since Illumination Night. (Publishers Weekly)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.1 out of 5.0
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    134
  • 2 Stars
    35
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    18

Performance

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
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Story

  • 4.1 out of 5.0
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  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Don't expext the movie story!

Not sure how they got the movie from this book. Other then the names of the characters nothing else is the same. While I adored the movie and the lighthearted feeling, the book goes in another direction, but I liked it just as well, just differently! In my head I was still picturing Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman as the sisters. So just be warned to expext a great story just not one like the movie.

22 of 23 people found this review helpful

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  • Story

Somethings are just practical.

I've adored this story for a long time; I have an ancient paperback version that has traveled with me on every plane ride I've ever taken (which is a lot). As someone who was picked on, horribly through childhood, for being different, this was the first cast of characters I vividly remember relating with. This is certainly a story I suggest as part of my preferred treatment for sad, rainy days, or a broken heart. By the time you finish it, you'll be ready for face the world again.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Good as it gets

I have been meaning to read this book ever since I fell in love with the movie. I am glad I got this though because the narrator gave a perfect read with her perfect voice. And even though the movie makers changed a whole big bunch...they got it right.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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very good! not what expected

I really wanted to read this book bc the movie has always been one of my favorites! it's not what I thought it would be though. it's like a old spin on a new story, the way I lived through it, it has the same back bone like all those cinderella twists but they're completely different! keep an open mind and you'll love it!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Joy
  • Annapolis MD United States
  • 12-27-12

All the characters were present

Practical Magic is one of my favorite movies. I've watched it more times than I can count and no matter how many times I watch it, I'm always entertained. With that said, it's also a testament to how Hollywood will take a story and twist it for the screen and box office. I did my best to keep an open mind while listening to the book and to take the story for what it was. As a story I was engaged but mostly because I wanted to see how the story played out. Parts of the story were in line with the movie and other parts explored other aspects of the characters. Overall I found the characters lacking and unexciting. Indications of paranormal skills were mostly eluded to and very little information about those skills was ever brought forth in the story. The Aunts played only a small part in the book and the magic they performed was nominal and rather anti-climactic. I've been going back and forth between giving the book a three or four star rating by taking the movie out of the equation, but in the end because the story lacked a fair amount of excitement and magic, a three is the best i could offer.

17 of 20 people found this review helpful

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Wow, did Alice Hoffman really write this?

This was one of the most annoying books I've ever tried on Audible. I usually love Alice Hoffman (The Red Garden is one of my all-time favorite books), but the writing in this was so cliched and just...clunky is the word that comes to mind. The characters are unsympathetic and uninteresting, and the plot predictable and plodding. I'm sad to say I can't find anything good to say about this one :(

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Lacy
  • WAXAHACHIE, TX, United States
  • 10-04-16

The movie was actually better than the book!

I was really excited when I found out that this was actually a book! I used to love the movie when I was younger-in my tween years. Unfortunately, and I never say this about books, but the movie was better than the book.

The beginning of the book was interesting and pulled me in but there was a lull toward the middle that made it hard to get through the rest of the book. At times, I felt like there were unnecessary details. As I was nearing the last part of the book, it started to pick up and peak my interest. The ending felt a little blunt or rushed but was good.

The movie seemed so different from the story in this book. Sally's kids were little throughout the movie but had grown to teenagers in the book. Sally took off to New York but in the movie she stayed with the aunts in Massachusetts. In the movie, there was an emphasis on Gary's eye color but there was no such emphasis in the book. Only small parts really resembled the movie, to be honest.

2 sisters, Sally and Jillian, grow up in Massachusetts living with their aunts after their parents die. They are different from day and night. Their aunts are Wiccan so they are constantly teased about being witches, especially when things go wrong! Their lives will take them on 2 different paths but fate will bring them back together and change their lives forever.

9 of 11 people found this review helpful

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very different from the movie!

Story very different from the movie, but still great! Riviting to the end. thoroughly enjoyed.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Enjoyed during my commute

This was a great story and entertaining for my morning commute. My only complaint is that the narrators voices (especially for Sally) were annoying!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Anthony
  • Norwalk, CA, United States
  • 09-22-13

While I was pleased, I felt the story lacked...

While I was pleased, I felt the story lacked substance. I had watched the movie based on this book many times over the years. The book did not meet my expectations. The movie was a much better story. Usually, this is not the case.

10 of 13 people found this review helpful