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Publisher's Summary

In an unforgettable novel that traces a centuries-old curse to its source, beloved author Alice Hoffman unveils the story of Maria Owens, accused of witchcraft in Salem, and matriarch of a line of the amazing Owens women and men featured in Practical Magic and The Rules of Magic.

Where does the story of the Owens bloodline begin? With Maria Owens, in the 1600s, when she’s abandoned in a snowy field in rural England as a baby. Under the care of Hannah Owens, Maria learns about the “Nameless Arts”. Hannah recognizes that Maria has a gift, and she teaches the girl all she knows. It is here that she learns her first important lesson: Always love someone who will love you back.

When Maria is abandoned by the man who has declared his love for her, she follows him to Salem, Massachusetts. Here she invokes the curse that will haunt her family. And it’s here that she learns the rules of magic and the lesson that she will carry with her for the rest of her life. Love is the only thing that matters.

Magic Lessons is a celebration of life and love and a showcase of Alice Hoffman’s masterful storytelling.

©2020 Alice Hoffman, Inc. All rights reserved. (P)2020 Simon & Schuster. All rights reserved.

What listeners say about Magic Lessons

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Amazing Series so far!!

I've been obsessed with these books for a while and Alice Hoffman writes so much of how I live and practice the craft . She's so descriptive and your imagination just soars. I will re-listen time and time over and over again!

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Alice Hoffman is magical

I was unable to stop listening. I was there with Maria Owens learning with her and her daughter Faith. I'm glad I read this novel first before the other prequel to Practical Magic.

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such an enjoyable read !

Alice Hoffman takes you into a magical world and I loved each and every character.

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read this!

I am a fan of Practical Magic and this book did not disappoint. couldn't stop listening to it. Was sad when it was over

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Disappointing

I had high hopes for this book. Alas, I was disappointed. For parts of the book it felt like the author was just spilling out what she learned about folk remedies so that there were endless lists of ingredients with a weak plot woven between.

The narration was flat. Had to listen for short periods of time as a result

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 2020-10-07

Alice Hoffman Never Disappoints

When the movie Practical Magic was released, I was delighted with the story line. I appreciated the relationship of sisters, the pain of unrequited Love, and the message that women could help themselves and were strongest when assembled.

Rules of Magic was FABULOUS; taking the reader through the tail end of the baby boomer era, illustrating self discovery, the futility of ignoring who one truly is, the cruelty of a constantly critical society.

When I heard Magic Lessons was on its way, I wasted no time in pre-ordering and within hours of receiving it, I listened to the entire book. Maria!! A legend 'brought to life.' Once again Alice Hoffman paints a world of women who are dedicated to their own; strong enough to withstand harsh societal oppression and persecution - truly acquainted with the rule of cause and effect. From their romantic lives to their familiars, from innate talent to acquired -- the journey of these women is both inspiring and a cautionary tale. Having listened to this only once so far, you can bet I'll be listening again -- And will be investing in a hard copy for my library. Love these Owens women!!! Thank you Alice Hoffman.

PS - Besides this trilogy, The Probably Future, Seventh Heaven, The Red Garden, are equally worthwhile. So grateful for this prolific author as I continue to read her works!

18 people found this helpful

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  • Cyndie Gawain
  • 2020-10-17

Disappointing

Just a very stupid love story with herbal magic recipes. I gave up after a couple of hours. I loved other Alice Hoffman books but this one reminded me of a paperback romance novel.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Allegreek
  • 2020-11-03

Disappointing--Probably better if read hardcopy

Finished it. The plot definitely picked up on the second half. This book could have benefited from better editing efforts and definitely a better narrator, as Sutton consistently detracted from the story and never improved the experience. If you are a fan of the Owens women and their stories, you get small tidbits to fill in the back story...too much repetition and just not enough substance for my taste. My advice is to read the book rather than listen to the AB. Following is my experience as I read it...

Listening to the dialog of women in the 1600s with a contemporary, and obnoxious, American accent is off-putting at best and takes you right out of the story at worst. This is part of the magic of a period piece especially one we can HEAR. Also off-putting when the narrator varies between a flat affect where not appropriate (see below) and a strange halted sing-song rhythm like one would use when reading to a child. Had I listened to the sample, I would not have bought this as an audiobook; sadly, I preordered.

Update: Half way through and the story has improved, though remains far too close to a romance novel for my taste. More magic, less romance would have been a better recipe. Flat and insipid narration is making this listen a chore. Don't get me started on the pronunciation of foreign languages-especially, some of which I speak, just dreadful. Perhaps this story would benefit from being read rather than listened to. Will revise if/when I finish.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Jennifer Baratta
  • 2020-10-13

Get this book.

Sutton Foster is an outstanding narrator. Alice Hoffman has done it again. Get the book.

4 people found this helpful

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  • P Chez
  • 2020-10-09

This

If you've followed the Owens women and their saga through the previous volumes then this book is for you. It is everything I wanted it to be, a little personal gift from one of my favorite authors.

The straightforward narration tells the story as if read from journals. No excess emotion is given to the words. They are allowed to stand on their own.

Loved it.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Ruby Tuesday
  • 2020-10-31

Book=AMAZING // Narrator=Basic White Girl

The book was incredible but the narrator almost ruined it for me. She was 100% the wrong choice in my opinion. Not sure why she was the voice the publishers went with? She sounded like a basic white girl influencer, not a smart, crafty witch from England living in the 1600s.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Shayla Williams
  • 2020-10-16

Lots of repetition

The book could have been ~25 pages shorter with a better editor. Lists of remedies with every location were expected, if unnecessary. Rules about getting back what you give every time a character uses magic were tedious. Rules about familiars every time an animal is mentioned were just obnoxious. I (and Sutton Foster, I suspect) could have done without the "songs."

Sutton Foster did a good job with the reading. Pace was appropriately meandering, as one expects with this sort of novel.

The story itself was okay. I enjoyed the culinary stuff more than the herbal stuff. I liked it better than some of her books, but I think I will pass on Hoffman in the future.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Tamara Matheson
  • 2020-10-17

Captivating!

Wonderful story with many life lessons and I didn't want to stop listening or they story to end.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Phillane saathoff
  • 2021-04-07

beautiful, and keeps you engaged. descriptive

such a beautifully well written book. much based on history. historical accounting along with a magical story

1 person found this helpful

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  • AC
  • 2020-10-21

Meh

The story just wasn't captivating. About halfway through, I just wanted it to end so I could move on to a better book. I did finish it because I just need to finish books once I start them. Wasn't a bad book, but it got hard to pay attention after a while. I wasn't really invested in the characters.

1 person found this helpful