Practical Magic

Practical Magic #1

Alice Hoffman

fiction fantasy magical realism
emotional mysterious medium-paced

286 pages | first published 1995

The Owens sisters confront the challenges of life and love in this bewitching novel from New York Times bestselling author Alice Hoffman.

For more than two hundred years, the Owens women have been blamed for everything that has gone wrong in their Massachusetts town. Gillian and Sally have endured that fate as well: as children, the sisters were forever outsiders, taunted, talked about, pointed at. Their elderly aunts almost seemed to encourage the whispers of witchery, with their musty house and their exotic concoctions and their crowd of black cats. But all Gillian and Sally wanted was to escape.

One will do so by marrying, the other by running away. But the bonds they share will bring them back—almost as if by magic...

What the community thinks

summary of 2459 ratings (see reviews)

Content warnings

Expand filter menu View warnings


mysterious 59%
emotional 51%
lighthearted 41%
hopeful 27%
reflective 23%
adventurous 20%
funny 20%
dark 19%
sad 9%
tense 8%
inspiring 7%
relaxing 6%
informative 0%


medium 57%
slow 28%
fast 14%

Plot- or character-driven?

Character: 63% | A mix: 28% | Plot: 6% | N/A: 2%

Strong character development?

Yes: 80% | No: 13% | It's complicated: 5%

Loveable characters?

Yes: 68% | It's complicated: 21% | No: 9%

Diverse cast of characters?

No: 83% | Yes: 6% | It's complicated: 5% | N/A: 4%

Flaws of characters a main focus?

Yes: 89% | It's complicated: 5% | No: 4%

Average rating