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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

What the critics say

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

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Heather Lane
  • 2018-05-29

Not like the Movie - not a bad thing though

Like many books Hollywood has touched, this book is no exception. I was such a fan of the movie, I wanted to read the book. Boy was I surprised. Key elements are there, but the tale is much more complex and takes place over a longer period of time. I'm not disappointed, it was great to listen to. Best not to compare it too closely to Hollywood's rendition, though or you'll be disappointed.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • SassyKat
  • 2017-09-21

A Wonderful Story

Once again, Alice Hoffman weaves a beautiful story with her words and beautiful character development. I love so many of her books but Practical Magic is one I will read/listen to over and over. it continues to delight and charm me.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • JEAN9
  • 2014-09-25

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.

32 of 34 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Missadventure
  • 2017-04-30

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.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Kayla
  • 2016-01-24

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!

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jane
  • 2017-10-26

Good Book, Weird Narration

I wasn't familiar with this narrator, but may avoid performances by her in the future. Hoffman's story is lovely, I think, but the voices Ms. Moore came up with for Jillian and Sally--the two main characters--are strange indeed. Sally sounds screechy--the narrator has a naturally deep voice and tries to push Sally high beyond her range. But Jillian's voice is distractingly odd. Hoffman's text describes Jillian's voice as deep and rich, but the narrator, whose voice is already deep, does this strange, forced, "even deeper" thing that sometimes makes her sound like a mobster and sometimes makes her sound like Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer from the seventies tv show.

Hoffman weaves a really nice story, though. I recommend reading this one over listening to it.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Dorian
  • 2017-02-02

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.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Joy
  • 2012-12-27

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.

18 of 21 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Jeff
  • 2016-11-10

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 :(

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Suzy
  • 2017-06-02

very different from the movie!

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

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Takara
  • 2016-12-11

A lovely romantic story

The book has many differences from the movie, but I am still glad I read it. The movie is my absolute favorite and I enjoyed reading where is came from. I spent a good while pondering why the screenwriters made some of the changes they did.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Meaghan Feeney
  • 2015-10-27

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!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful