Audiobook Review: Practical Magic (Practical Magic #1)

Published July 1st 1995 

Author: Alice Hoffman

Narrator: Cherry Jones

Audiobook Length: 9 hours 12 minutes

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

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. 

The Rules of Magic (#0.2)
Practical Magic (#1)
The Book of Magic (#2)

Find It On: Goodreads / Amazon

** Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links, including Amazon, and I may earn a small commission, at no cost to you, if you purchase through my links. It’s a nice way for me to continue my love of books and feed my reading addiction.**

Like some other readers, I actually watched the movie version of Practical Magic long before I read the book version. I listened to the audiobook version, which has two editions (an abridged and unabridged). It was amazing to me how much was cut from the full edition as it runs a little over nine hours while the abridged is a little over three. For me, if this much material can be cut and the story still makes sense, then there was most likely a lot of filler in the original. This story follows Sally and Gillian Owens who live in Massachusetts with their aunts Frannie and Jet Owens. There are some similarities with the movie while there are still differences.

Gillian and Sally went through many trials and tribulations throughout their childhood all the way up to adulthood. Sally became a widow with two daughters, Antonia, and Kylie. Meanwhile, Gillian has a complex romantic past and now seeks her family for assistance. These four women are the focal points of the novel as the reader experiences their lives and how they are intertwined with magic. This is also where the movie and novel cannot be compared as the characters may share the same names, but they are not the same. Neither are the smaller elements of the plot, so I think there was not a lot of comparisons. The narrative is lush with descriptive writing and great prose. Overall, this story was interesting, but it was slow in many places. I did enjoy the novel and I cannot wait to read the next novel in the series.

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