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.
I saw the movie Practical Magic in the theaters when I was in middle school, and I was so scared that I remember leaving and hiding in the bathroom. While The Rules of Magic didn't scare me, it was a really depressing book, though beautifully written.
If you remember anything about Practical Magic, you have to get a general sense of how The Rules of Magic, the prequel book, is going to play out. I think much of my rating boils down to how I feel when I finish a book; if I'm leaving a book feeling like I'd read it again or not.
If you are a reader who enjoys magic and tragedy and an engaging story with some twists and turns, then this book is truly for you. Be prepared, few things aren't going to work out well for our protagonists. However, if that doesn't bother you, then the story really is an interesting, sweeping story that spans a number of decades in the middle of the century.
The pacing is good, and though the book is long, it reads very well. My one complaint about the writing is that I'm not a fan of head-hopping, and this book uses the third person omniscient point of view (aka, everyone's POV). I found that to be a bit distracting, though I got used to it as the book went on.
Overall, a nice read but not really for me. However, I think fans of The Rules of Magic will adore the consistency and quality of this story.
*Copy provided in exchange for an honest review*
Enjoy, my friends!