Magic Lessons: The Prequel to Practical Magic (Hardcover)

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Staff Reviews

Alice Hoffman returns to the world fans loved in Practical Magic and The Rules of Magic with this prequel, explaining the beginning of the Owens bloodline. Rebecca, a powerful but fickle witch, abandons her infant daughter Maria in the English countryside in the 1600s. Hannah, a healer and midwife, takes in Maria where she displays extraordinary power even as a girl. Tragedy takes Maria to Curacao, where she hones her craft and also does what she vowed she would not do: fall in love. She follows her lover to Salem Massachusetts, blind to the one man who truly loves her and who will remain faithful for his entire life. Magic Lessons is a lush story full of Hoffman's signature vivid imagery. It's a story of wisdom gained through love and loss. It will be welcomed not only by fans of the series, but, happily, can be read as a stand-alone story of magic, adventure and love.


— From Cindy's Recs


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 “Unnamed 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.

About the Author

Alice Hoffman is the author of more than thirty works of fiction, including The World That We KnewPractical MagicThe Rules of Magic, the Oprah’s Book Club selection Here on Earth,The Red GardenThe Dovekeepers,The Museum of Extraordinary ThingsThe Marriage of Opposites, and Faithful. She lives near Boston.­

Praise For…

“In Hoffman’s luminous prose, all characters, even the villains, are not only vividly, but also compassionately, rendered... Hoffman adeptly highlights that how one uses a talent, selflessly or selfishly, has a sweeping impact on many lives, meaning that one should always choose courage, and that love is the only answer.”Booklist

"Hoffman offers an eye-opening account of how single women were treated in the 17th century, particularly when their knowledge or intelligence was deemed threatening. [This] page-turning adventure is thoroughly enjoyable. Hoffman’s redemptive story of a fiercely independent woman adds an engrossing, worthwhile chapter to the series."Publisher's Weekly
Product Details
ISBN: 9781982108847
ISBN-10: 1982108843
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: October 6th, 2020
Pages: 416