This is the long awaited prequel to ‘Practical Magic’. In it we learn who the aunts were before they were the old ladies we see in PM- and they had quite interesting young lives! The story of how they grew up, along with their unnaturally beautiful and attractive brother- the only male born into their Owens line- includes being orphaned, being broke, falling in love and losing love, being feared and scorned by the small town their own aunt Isabelle lives in, and, of course, living with the curse of Maria Owens.
So much happens in this novel that I can’t give a capsule recounting of it. Suffice it to say that the teenaged Owen’s have a hard time of life, and choose different ways of dealing with the problems. In this story we meet other Owenses; aunt Isabelle, an unexpected cousin, and mother Susanna with her list of rules that include no walking in the moonlight or having cats and, most important of all, no falling in love. Of course we know they will flout that rule!
You do not have to have read ‘Practical Magic’ to enjoy this book. Except for the very end, it’s completely stand alone. It’s very magical; everything about the Owenses’ lives revolves, whether they like it or not, around magic. But it also revolves, as our own do, around human connection and love. Five stars.
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