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Summary

The extraordinary new novel from the author of Practical Magic and The Dovekeepers

We first met the Owens in the glorious novel Practical Magic. We discovered the tragedy of the Owens siblings in Rules of Magic. Now we learn how it all began...with a baby abandoned in a snowy English field in the 1600s. Under the care of gentle Hannah Owens, little Maria learns about the 'Unnamed Arts'. Maria has a gift for them - a gift that may well prove her undoing.

When Maria is abandoned by the man she loves, she invokes the curse that will haunt her family for centuries. Because magic has rules, and they must be followed. This is the lesson that Maria will carry with her for the rest of her life, and pass on to her children and her children's children. 


 

©2020 Alice Hoffman (P)2020 Simon & Schuster UK

What listeners say about Magic Lessons

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A real lesson in magic.

Not only is this a beautiful piece of writing and a gripping story but if you listen closely, you’ll learn much about magic. This author knows what the magic and healing properties of herbs and flowers are but also that words hold power and that one should never let a woman burn. A masterpiece.

5 people found this helpful

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Wonderful

Loved every second of it. Incredible story, very gripping.
As a herbalist I have noticed a few errors (eg Yarrow being planted in the poison bed, Wormwood being poisonous). This did not stop me from enjoying it though.

4 people found this helpful

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Better than I first thought

I had a bit of trouble getting going with this, because it seemed quite slow and detailed at the start, listing magical herbs etc. The story didn’t unfold quickly, but when it did, I was captivated to the very end and was moved to tears at one point. I will definitely listen to the next one in the series.

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A Fantastic Book

So well written and performed. it had me gripped from the start. highly recommend.

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KAZ🇬🇧💙😃 ABSOLUTELY AMAZING 📖❤️

This is definitely 1 of the very best book's I've had the pleasure to have listened to in age's & reccommd to anyone who enjoy's a book with magic witche's history superstition & sadly how people can judge others who are different all that mixed in with a touch of a love story 💙 Fantastic characters awesome narration & beautiful storyline I'd give it a 4+ out of 5 it's really that good ⭐⭐⭐⭐

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Predictable, but good

Not as good as Practical Magic, but still good and loved returning to the PM universe. I read PM as a teenager so felt quite nostalgic.

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beautiful story

such a beautiful story and wonderfully portrayed. I cannot wait for the next book

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so enjoyable

I really enjoyed this book and the narrator who read it brought it to life

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Absolutely beautiful

I was 19 when I read Alice Hoffman's Practical magic and over the years I read it again & again, I recommend it to everyone and gifted copies many times but I was so sad to never read more about The Owens women, as I was completely invested in their lives. So when 22 whole years had passed, finally my prayers were answered with the wonderful prequal The Rules of Magic, which tells the story of the Aunts Jet & Francis(& Vincent of course) coming of age.
And now this prequal(prequal) that tells the origin story of the matriarch Maria Owens, as she witnesses love, death & birth, kindness & cruelty, in the awful times of the witch hunts in Essex County, England & Salem, Massachusetts.

I loved all 3 books but I'm sad also, as I realise there is no further back to go and this could be the last Owens family book. Maybe Alice Hoffman might come up with a sequel someday, here's hoping. 🌛🌝🌜

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So much better than the Practical Magic book!

I loved this book so much, It’s a real classic in the genre for me, I can’t wait for the final book now!

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  • Anonymous User
  • 21-11-21

Beautiful story of love!

This book was beautifully written! I could not stop listening once I started! The narrator has a beautiful voice that captivated me just as much as the story!
Honestly I thought I would not enjoy this story as it is not my usual genre but I stand corrected!
Amazing read!

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  • Melissa
  • 24-10-20

A Good listen

The story of Maria Owens - which until now was only hinted at in the previous books - is an interesting one with some expected elements, but many that came as a surprise. England and America of late 1600's were places where superstition and fear are rife, going hand in hand with religious fundamentalism; this is evident in the book, but also apt in the context of the series where 20th century reflect centuries old mindset exactly- bar the hangings. This is a book of revelations, but even so I didn't come away from it entirely wowed and I preferred The Rules of Magic as the initially punished prequel that it is. The narrator did a commendable job with the book and characters. A good listen overall.