This blog is now retired. My new site is at: Predictably Irrational.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman

I am in a reading slump.

Either the books I am reading are not interesting enough for me or I am just in 'reader's block' phase.

But I managed to finally finish one of the two books I am trying to get through. This one was supposed to be finished by May 27th for book club. Ahs well...

I knew Practical Magic from the movie with Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman. A terrible movie, BTW. But it was chosen for book club, which was an odd choice as it wasn't a recent release (the movie came out in 1998).

Overall, it was OK. More than OK, but less than good. What is the word for that?

Perhaps it would have been more interesting had I not been reflecting back to the movie. Did I mention how bad the movie was?

Sally and Gillian are sisters who have magic in their blood. Their aunts take them in when they become orphaned and the book details a little bit about how hard it is to grow up with aunts for witches.

The girls become women and have lived different lives, all away from the hometown of their aunts'. Gillian leads a wild life; Sally is domesticated (and widowed) with two daughters.

But Gillian seeks Sally once her good-for-nothing boyfriend dies of mysterious causes, quite possibly because of Gillian dabbling in potions.

Then the book turns to describe a bit of the lives of Gillian, Sally and Sally's two daughters. We also get to live in the lives of two others, Ben and Gary.

Because Hoffman doesn't divide her novel into chapters, the book feels like it's rambling like a run-on sentence.

I read some quotes on the book jacket about Hoffman's "prose". I didn't find it prosey at all. I felt like, if anything, much of her writing was based on cheeseball, high school teen, trying to write something meaningful.

But it wasn't bad enough for me to stop. Really, once Gary joined the picture, I became very interested in the storyline and that ended up being the last 75 pages of the novel.

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