The story of the woman who cursed the men who love the Owens women in Practical Magic!
Maria Owens is the matriarch of the Owens family in America. She was abandoned by her mother, raised for her first ten years by a kindly woman named Hannah Owens who practiced the “Unnamed Arts”. Maria learns more magic wherever she goes. The most important thing she was taught by Hannah was to “Always love someone that will love you back”.
I really liked this book, but you know how sometimes you can be reading a book and it is 500 pages and it seems to go by in a flash while another book you can read and read for hours and you will look and you aren’t even a quarter of the way through the book? That was this book. The world building and character development was terrific and there were long descriptions of just about everything.
I’m not saying that was bad, since I really enjoyed everything about this book, it just seemed to go slower than some books. Maria’s journey really begins when she is 10 and men come to her home and burn it down. Hannah tells her to run and she does. I enjoyed her journey and how she grows at each place she ends up. Maria learns new magic at every place she goes, new cures and spells which include the local flora and fauna.
Maria is a very likable character. She is unafraid and able to take care of herself. She has no problem going where she wants and talking to people whether it be to find passage on a ship or to find a job in a new city. I have to tell you though, I know it is history, but I get so frustrated at the stupidity of people and especially when it comes to things that happened in the past.
For example, how they would tie a witch to a chair and throw it into a body of water. If the woman floated, she was a witch, but if she sunk and drowned, she was innocent. I mean really, after they killed how many innocent people do they stop??? And the puritans, that think women are the cause of all evil because of Eve and the apple. So if a man feels something for a woman who isn’t his wife, it is the woman’s fault for putting some sort of spell on him or seducing him or whatever.
Though this is a book about love even more than it is a book about magic. It shows all different kinds of love such as obsessive love, jealous love, true love, false love, mean and cruel love. The fact that Maria has magic and can help to determine the course of love for others doesn’t mean she can help herself. Since people with magic can rarely perform it on or for themselves, when they do they pay a price and whatever they put out there is returned to them threefold.
“To any man who ever loves an Owens, let this curse befall you, let your fate lead to disaster, let you be broken in body and soul, and may it be that you never recover.”
Luckily the book doesn’t end with the curse. There are twists and turns and surprises throughout the story. I found myself in tears a few times. I liked the book for the emotional pull, for the magic and the whimsy, the animals and more. I also adore books like this where I can learn a bit of history I hadn’t known before. I never knew that in New York (which was named New Amsterdam) there once was a wall that separated the city from the wilds beyond and protected against attacks. That is how Wall Street got its name.
I voluntarily read & reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts & opinions are my own.