Celebrating the power of witches in Alice Hoffman’s The Rules of Magic seems an appropriate way to celebrate Halloween. Hoffman reveals the back story of the two witch aunts who raise Sally and Gillian Owens in her novel made into a movie – Practical Magic. This prequel dates back to the childhood of Frannie and Jet, played in the movie by a feisty Stockard Channing and an aerie Dianne Wiest.
The premise of the family curse bequeathed from the seventeenth century – that any man who falls in love with an Owens woman will die – controls the romance in the story, but thankfully Hoffman spins this tale with less horror and more introspection. History plays a big role with the assassination of John F. Kennedy and the Vietnam War changing the direction for some of the characters. And, if you were wondering how two maiden aunts could have nieces? Hoffman writes in a brother for them in the prequel, a handsome wizard who resists going to war. The children in Practical Magic are his grandchildren.
A fast and entertaining read – try it while you are munching on your Halloween stash.
And, if you’d like to try Aunt Isabelle’s Chocolate Tipsy Cake for breakfast, the recipe is here.
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