The Book of Magic: A Novel (4) (The Practical Magic Series) - book cover
  • Publisher : Simon & Schuster
  • Published : 12 Oct 2021
  • Pages : 400
  • ISBN-10 : 198215148X
  • ISBN-13 : 9781982151485
  • Language : English

The Book of Magic: A Novel (4) (The Practical Magic Series)

Master storyteller Alice Hoffman brings us the conclusion of the Practical Magic series in a spellbinding and enchanting final Owens novel brimming with lyric beauty and vivid characters.

The Owens family has been cursed in matters of love for over three-hundred years but all of that is about to change. The novel begins in a library, the best place for a story to be conjured, when beloved aunt Jet Owens hears the deathwatch beetle and knows she has only seven days to live. Jet is not the only one in danger—the curse is already at work.

A frantic attempt to save a young man’s life spurs three generations of the Owens women, and one long-lost brother, to use their unusual gifts to break the curse as they travel from Paris to London to the English countryside where their ancestor Maria Owens first practiced the Unnamed Art. The younger generation discovers secrets that have been hidden from them in matters of both magic and love by Sally, their fiercely protective mother. As Kylie Owens uncovers the truth about who she is and what her own dark powers are, her aunt Franny comes to understand that she is ready to sacrifice everything for her family, and Sally Owens realizes that she is willing to give up everything for love.

The Book of Magic is a breathtaking conclusion that celebrates mothers and daughters, sisters and brothers, and anyone who has ever been in love.

Editorial Reviews

"Some stories begin at the beginning and others begin at the end." So opens The Book of Magic, the final installment of Alice Hoffman's popular Practical Magic series, a page-turning fairy tale of a saga that spans three books, one star-studded movie adaptation and multiple centuries of adventure and misadventure, love lost and found and bottomless cauldrons of sorcery in the lives of the bewitchingly witchy Owens the witches who populate her stories, Hoffman certainly knows how to enchant." -NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW

"Alice Hoffman has given us such a gift with this series, and this final chapter is sure to be another heartfelt celebration of mothers and daughters and the magic of falling in love." -LITHUB

"I love Alice Hoffman. Full of Hoffman's bewitching and lucid prose and vivid characters, The Book of Magic is ultimately about the very human magic of family and love and actions that echo through generations. Filled with secrets and splendor and light and dark, the novel works as well as a stand-alone as it does as a conclusion to a mesmerizing series. It casts a spell." -MATT HAIG, New York Times best-selling author of The Midnight Library

Readers Top Reviews

Mel G
I love this series - it just gets better and better!
Hoffman’s conclusion of the Owens family saga was magical for me! The premise of the book was the Owens family trying to finally break a three hundred year curse that prevents them from acknowledging true Love. Hoffman nails it with fantastic writing and depth of character development. I enjoyed the Author’s usual richness in magical details and the vivid characters. I always enjoy Hoffman’s beautiful and lyrical phrasing. I started the book disappointed that this would be the end of the series but was delighted with how Hoffman brings all the themes together in the ending. The story was fast paced and and the ending soulful. Although this is the final book in a series it could be read as a stand alone and would be great for bookclub discussions with themes including Love, why it’s important enough to risk heartbreak, and Life, why accepting your true self is truly living. This is a story about witches and magic but more importantly about an amazing family who love each other deeply and unconditionally! Enjoy!!
Libby e berman
For three hundred plus years , the Owen family has attempted to evade Maria Owns curse- with trickery. Never declaring love was one example,or only marrying when your partner was already dying. The curse strikes a new generation- Sally's daughter Kylie doesn't meekly accept that she will lose best friend Gideon, she attempts to fight to end the curse, once and for all. Doing so, involves every Owens-including Franny and Jet's falsely dead brother., Vincent. In order to end the curse,Kylie returns to England, followed by her family. This is the happiest of the four Practical Magic series. Extremely highly recommend.
Kelly Gottschalk
The Book of Magic is the mesmerizing conclusion to Alice Hoffman's Practical Magic series, and unites three generations of Owens family members to break the curse on love set by their ancestor Maria. After Jet hears the deathwatch beetle, she decides to leave the Book of the Raven where her sister Franny can find it and begin the work of breaking the curse but her great-niece Kylie, Sally's daughter finds it instead when a horrible accident leads her to pursue left-hand magic. Franny and Jet's long lost brother Vincent joins Franny, Sally and Gillian as they go after Kylie and try to stop her before her actions can't be undone. The story does a wonderful job of bringing the overall story of the Owens family curse full circle, and while not fully "happily-ever-after", brings a satisfying conclusion to the stories of Franny, Jet, Sally and Gillian. Hoffman's storytelling is as beautiful as always and makes Massachusetts and England, where the story is primarily told, come alive. I wish I'd felt just a little more engrossed in the emotions the characters were feeling, but overall this is a minor complaint for a job well done.
5.0 stars First off, I must confess that I have loved and adored The Practical Magic series. The Owens family has been so incredible for so many reasons! I am so sad to say goodbye to them and am tearing up as I write this. The most important and best part of this series is it is a book about women as the main characters, witches (who doesn't like them?), love, and a woman author!! I have read many of Alice Hoffman's books and The Book of Magic was brilliant. The author has a lovely, luscious style of writing that is engrossing. Honestly, I only wish that I had found her books SOONER!! But, I am slowly making my way through the unread books and hopefully more incredible books to come. What a FANTASTIC way to end the series. Alice Hoffman just has THE GIFT of writing. I so didn't want to read this book because I knew that that series was over, but once I got going I just couldn't stop reading it. That is THE sign of a brilliant book!! HIGHLY recommend!!! 5.0 stars!!

Short Excerpt Teaser

Chapter I I.
Some stories begin at the beginning and others begin at the end, but all the best stories begin in a library. It was there that Jet Owens saw her fate in a mirror behind the reference desk. Even in her eighties, Jet was still beautiful. Each day she washed with the black soap the family prepared in March during the dark phase of the moon, with every bar then wrapped in crinkly cellophane. Jet had no aches or pains and had never been ill a day in her life, but fate is fate and it can often be what you least expect it to be. On this day, when the daffodils had begun to bloom, Jet saw that she had seven days to live.

The deathwatch beetle had begun to call from within the walls of the Owens Library, a sound that often went unnoticed until it was so loud it was all a person could hear. When your time came, the black beetle would withdraw from hiding and follow you everywhere, no matter where you went. Its presence meant that the past was over and the future no longer existed. This was the moment that revealed how you had walked through the world, with kindness or with fear, with your heart open or closed. It had taken this long for Jet to appreciate that every instant was a marvel. Now everything she saw was illuminated. The sun streaming through the library windows in fierce bands of orange light. A moth tapping at the glass. The sweep of the branches of one of the last elm trees in the commonwealth, which shadowed the library's lawn. Some people unravel or run for shelter when their time has come, they curse their fate or hide under their beds, but Jet knew exactly what she wished to do in the last days she'd been granted. She didn't have to think twice.

Long ago, the library had been a jail where Maria Owens, the first woman in their family to set foot in Massachusetts in 1680, had been confined until the judges announced she would be hanged. Those were the days when witchery was forbidden and women were harshly punished, judged to be dangerous creatures if they talked too much, or read books, or did their best to protect themselves from harm. People said Maria could turn herself into a crow, that she had the ability to enchant men without ever speaking to them directly and to compel other women to do as they pleased, so that they were willing to forsake their proper place in society and in their own families. The court set out to destroy Maria and nearly did, but she could not be drowned, and she did not back down. She blamed love for her undoing, for she'd chosen the wrong man, with dire consequences. Just before the rope that was meant to end her life snapped, and she was miraculously saved, Maria called out a curse upon love.

Beware of love, she had written on the first page of her journal, now exhibited in the library, a display mothers in town often brought their teenaged daughters to view before they started dating. Beware of love that was dishonest and disloyal, love that would lie to you and trick you, love that could break you and condemn you to sorrow, love that could never be trusted. If Maria Owens had been less rash, she might have realized that when you curse another, you curse yourself as well. Curses are like knots, the more you struggle to be free, the tighter they become, whether they're made of rope or spite or desperation. Maria invoked an enchantment to protect the generations to follow, with her daughters' and great-granddaughters' best interests at heart. For their own safety, they must avoid love. Those who failed to abide by this rule would find that engagements would be tragic, and marriages would end with funerals. Over the years, many of those in the Owens family had found ways to outwit the curse, always an intricate and risky endeavor. All the same, a person could trick fate if she dared, she could change her name, never admit her love, skip a legal union, vanish from view, or, for those who were careless and wild, simply plunge in and hope for the best, knowing that sooner or later everyone had to face her own destiny.

Maria's journal pages had been up on the wall of the library for more years than anyone could remember. Certainly, they had been there when Jet and her sister, Franny, were girls, and came here on muggy heat-laden summer days, waiting for their lives to begin, learning the truth about themselves from the town records and from their beloved aunt Isabelle. The family had a history of witchery, inherited in every generation, and had practiced the Nameless Art. They were bloodline witches, genetically predisposed to magic, wit...