book review, friday feels, re-read

#FridayFeels Book Review: Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman

1366744Barely making it under the wire for this #FridayFeels! I honestly had a few other contemporaries that I wanted to review, but it was a crazy week at work (ya, excuses, excuses!)… and in the end, after reading The Bone Witch this week, I truly did want to re-read an old favorite. So I did it. I did the thing with the re-read. And it was worth it.

“Do you ever just put your arms out and just spin and spin and spin? Well, that’s what love is like; everything inside of you tells you to stop before you fall, but for some reason you just keep going.”

I haven’t read Practical Magic in many years, and had clearly forgotten just how much better it was than the movie. Like the movie… it’s ok. I love Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman and all of that, but the book… the book is SO MUCH DEEPER than the movie. If you know anything about the book/movie, you will know that it centers around the generations of Owens women and how magic plays into their lives as they are a line of witches. The main story revolves around the current three generations of Owens women… the aunts, Gillian and Sally, and Sally’s daughters Antonia and Kylie.

The thing that stands out as the biggest difference between the book and the movie (among many things) to me is the story of Antonia and Kylie. There is a lot more you get to learn about them in the book, and it serves as a point of reflection and growth of Sally and Gillian, as well as the aunts. The aunts are figures of magical power, who have accepted and enjoy their ways. Sally and Gillian are two sisters who are forever bonded, but Gillian is restless and prone to wanderlust, while Sally shuns her magical gifts and just wants to be normal. She also wants nothing more for her children… for them to be normal and to enjoy a normal life without whispers behind their backs.

“Although she’d never believe it, those lines in Gillian’s face are the most beautiful part about her. They reveal what she’s gone through and what she’s survived and who exactly she is, deep inside.”

There are themes of love, empowerment, sisterhood, motherhood and self-acceptance all entwined in an atmospheric landscape of magical realism. I think that makes it perfect for a book that will give you the feels if you also love a little paranormal with your quickening heartbeats! Admittedly, it’s easy to tell that this is a 90’s book, but to me it was fun to revisit.

Blurb from Goodreads:

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.

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