[Review] Practical Magic – Alice Hoffman

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(Alice Hoffman, 2003)

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

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…

(via Goodreads)

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What I Liked

  • Cover
    • It is super sad, I have been sitting with this book for a little while and I genuinely could not find anything to talk about in terms of what I liked about this book other than the cover I personally have for it.

What I Disliked

  • Pacing
    • This was by far the hardest part for me reading this book. I don’t know if I just don’t personally mesh with her writing style or what, by I felt like so much of this book d r a g g e d on for no reason. It was pure torture. There were parts where she would say one sentence, and then go off on a three-page tangent on something unrelated. I just had a really hard time caring about the main plot with all the really long flashbacks, and unnecessary two page long descriptions of the garden. I just, I can’t.
  • Plot
    • I know what the main plot was, but through the whole ordeal it just didn’t feel like I was even reading the same book. There would be pages dedicated to some distant flashback and then barely coherently transition back to the main story line. I literally felt exhausted at the end of reading this because I felt like I read an 800 page history instead of a barely 300 page magic realism.

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Final Thoughts

I just wanted so much more magic, so much more from the characters, and a little bit more of a cohesive plot. I didn’t get any of those things. Truthfully, this book felt like a big ole hodgepodge of scenes in these sister’s lives (as well as some guest appearances) and it just didn’t work for me. I hated the over explaining, the unnecessary descriptions and the overall flashbacks that happened so often you almost wish that was what the book was actually about. Jumping from different POVs and points in time really did nothing for the character development and my ability to connect with even one of them throughout the story. To be frank, I did not like this book at all, and I should have DNFed. I remember having some issues with one of Hoffman’s other books, Faithful, as well so I really am reconsidering reading anything else by her since it appears that I just don’t mesh with her writing style.

8 thoughts on “[Review] Practical Magic – Alice Hoffman

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