Magic Lessons by Alice Hoffman || Book Review [spoiler free]

10/17/2020

 

Alice Hoffman has been a recent discovery for me. I read Practical Magic a few years ago after loving the movie since I was a child, but hadn't delved further into her book backlog. I've since read The Rules Of Magic, Survival Lessons, and Local Girls. I gave both of those books a solid 3 star rating and yet they have stayed with me. I often think back to the writing and will even gravitate back towards them when I see them on my shelves. It's odd. Hoffman's writing is an experience. It's atmospheric, haunting, and so darn beautiful. It speaks to my soul in the same way that Fredrick Backman's deep almost poetic characters do. Because of all this, when I say Magic Lessons on Net Galley I instantly asked for it. This is my review. 

Even as a young child Maria Owen had magic running through her blood. Abandoned at an orphanage as a baby, she is taken in by a fellow witch Hannah who offers to train Maria in the craft. From there we follow Maria throughout her childhood, teens, and eventual adulthood as she learns the hardest lesson of all - who you should love. Being abandoned once more by a man who was said to of loved her, she follows him to Salem, Massachusetts during the witch trails. That is the synopsis that I've seen almost everywhere for the book, but that's actually only the first 1/3 of the novel. I like that as it adds a bit of, dare I say, magic to the story.

This was such a beautiful novel. I'm a huge fan of Alice Hoffman's witchy world so reading what is essentially the origin story of the curse that is the main focus of both Practical Magic and The Rules Of Magic was great fun. Witchy books are a must-read for me during October, and though I wouldn't put the other two books from this "series" on my favorites list, they were enjoyable reads with very vivid settings. However, Magic Lessons is on a whole new level. Not only does this book bring such depth to Hoffman's already well excecated world, but I really appreciated the subtle but nevertheless potent look at women's rights spread throughout the novel. 

I already know that Magic Lessons is going to be near the top of my future 'Best Books of 2020' list. I finished it and instantly wanted to reread the entire thing (despite it being 4am).

If it's been on your radar in any way I urge you to pick it up.

Thank you to #NetGalley for the eARC.

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