Most people know the 1998 movie Practical Magic with Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman, the original book by the same name was written by Alice Hoffman. Since then, Alice Hoffman has written more books relating to this story, culminating with The Book of Magic.
Whether you choose to read them in publication order or chronological order is up to you. I have read them as they were being released, however, as the final instalment has been released, I took the decision to read them in chronological order, which you can find what it is here.
These books, Magic Lessons, The Rules of Magic, Practical Magic, and The Book of Magic; follow the story of a blood line of witches through their lives. These are women trying to survive a world that seems to be against them, but foremost this is a story about love and the magic that itself creates.
Magic Lessons is set in the 1600s in Essex, UK and it is where the story begins, with the prosecution of a woman called Hannah Owens and how she finds a baby in the forest and raises her as her own, Maria Owens. This book follows how she falls in love, how she travels to the Americas and how she will have to pay the price for daring to be different.
Rules of Magic is set in the 1960s and follows the descendants of Maria Owens. The struggle of post war life and the struggle of being who you truly are, loving that person who you truly want to love.
Practical Magic is the one most people know, though if you watched the movie and never read the book you will find that it is different. There are elements that are the same, though some parts of the story are told differently. This follows the struggles of two sisters who are different to everybody else. The curse that continues to haunt them since set by Maria Owens in the 1600s, and how they overcome their life struggles.
The Book of Magic is the last in the series and comes back to Essex in the UK. The curse continues to haunt the Owens descendants and this story certainly shows you what we are all willing to do for love. The sacrifices, the struggles, the adventures and the courage one most take in order to love without fear. This is a wonderful end to the story of magic and love.
Personally, after coming back from time away in December, I have felt out of sorts and unable to get back into the engine of life and podcasting. I always find that sometimes we can close our minds or narrow them so much that we fail to see other views that will help us through life. So when I got my audible notification that The Book of Magic had been released, I decided I needed to loose myself in a fictional world that will bring me joy and magic. That is exactly what this series has done. Not only I love the way that Alice Hoffman introduces magical practices, herb lore and the healing knowledge of many centuries, she also mentions the old magical practices of the nameless arts. Many books which I have read and others which I am reading. However, the most important aspect of the stories is that of survival. How love does appear in our lives, it changes everything and we fight to protect those we love. These books are stories that all people would relate to, specially if you are even a little bit magically inclined. They truly are inspirational stories.