Review: Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman

Blurb: As children, sisters Gillian and Sally were forever outsiders in their small New England town, teased, taunted and shunned for the sense of magic that seemed to hang in the air around them. All Gillian and Sally ever wanted was to get away. Years later, tragedy brings the sisters back together. They’ll find that no matter what else may happen, they’ll always have each other.

Title: Practical Magic

Author: Alice Hoffman

Publisher: Scribner, an imprint of Simon and Schuster

Genre: Fiction, Fantasy, Paranormal


This story follows sisters, Sally and Gillian, as they seek to leave the strange superstitions of their childhood behind, living apart and trying to be normal. But when things in Gillian’s life take a deadly turn, her sister is the one person she can turn to.

It didn’t take me long to figure out that this book was going to become one of my all time favourite reads. There’s just something about the writing style that gives you a sort of nostalgic warmth for the characters and their experiences that worms its way into your heart. Hoffman writes so wonderfully and captures the sibling bond between the sisters perfectly – no matter how far away life takes you and how different you may be, you can always depend on each other and I absolutely love that. I also now have the biggest soft spot for the aunts! Their kooky ways and mannerisms gave me Addams family vibes in the sense that to us, they’re strange but to each other they’re perfectly normal. I have to take a moment to mention how much I loved the descriptions of the settings as well. No matter where we were, I felt like I was there right along with them, smelling the scent of the lilacs, sitting behind the counter at the ice cream parlour or sneaking around on the back staircase at the aunt’s house, it was magical.

The story moves at a really enjoyable pace so we’re not left waiting around for something to happen. The events flow well into each other meaning that the writing isn’t disjointed or clunky and is easy enough to follow. This book is also written in third person which I felt suited the story well as it meant that each of the characters were given enough attention and we were able to draw those wonderful parallels between Sally and Gillian and Sally’s children.

As for what I disliked, the only thing that I’d note would be that the chapters definitely aren’t short. If you’re after something that you can dip in and out of easily without pausing part way through a section, then this might not be the book for that. However, even with the long chapters this book is most definitely worth the read, just know that you might need to commit some time to it.

Overall, I can’t recommend this book enough for those who enjoy stories with a witchy edge, full of the ups and downs of life and written so beautifully! There’s a reason that this book is considered a classic!

Rating: 4.5/5

Recommend?: Yes

Have you read this book? Or maybe you’ve read something similar? What did you think? I’d love to know!

You can always find me over on Instagram and Twitter if you’d like to discuss this book (or any others that I’ve featured) in more detail 😌

5 thoughts on “Review: Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman

  1. Oh my goodness!!! I’ve watched this film so many times and I somehow never realised that it was a book!? How did I miss that! Great review, and I really should check out the book!! X

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Practical Magic is one of my favourite films, however, I’m reluctant to read the book in case it doesn’t stack up. I read The Rules of Magic last year and although I enjoyed it, it wasn’t an all-time-favourite. Alice Hoffman’s writing style is magical realism and films are a bit more dramatic.

    Liked by 1 person

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