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Magic Lessons

A Prequel to Practical Magic

The extraordinary novel tracing a centuries-old curse back to its beginning 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. 


PRAISE for ALICE HOFFMAN

‘Beautiful, harrowing, a major contribution to twenty-first century literature’
Toni Morrison

‘I am still reeling from The Dovekeepers – from the history Alice Hoffman illuminates, from the language she uses to bring these women to life. This novel is a testament to the human spirit and to love rising from the ashes of war. But most of all, this novel is one that will never be forgotten by a reader.’
Jodi Picoult

‘In her remarkable new novel, Alice Hoffman holds a mirror to our ancient past as she explores the contemporary themes of sexual desire, women’s solidarity in the face of strife, and the magic that’s quietly present in our day-to-day living. Put The Dovekeepers at the pinnacle of Hoffman’s extraordinary body of work. I was blown away.’
Wally Lamb

‘Alice Hoffman takes seemingly ordinary lives and lets us see and feel extraordinary things.’
Amy Tan

‘Miss Hoffman heals wounds with the gentle touch of an angel’
Joseph Heller

'Oh, what a book this is! Hoffman’s exploration of the world of good and evil, and the constant contest between them, is unflinching; and the humanity she brings to us – it is a glorious experience.'
Elizabeth Strout
 

© Alyssa Peek

Alice Hoffman is the author of thirty works of fiction, including Practical Magic, The Red Garden, The Dovekeepers and, most recently,The Museum of Extraordinary Things. She lives in Boston. Visit her website: www.alicehoffman.com

  • Publisher: Scribner UK (October 6, 2020)
  • Length: 416 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781471197161

'Enticing... conjures up spells, herbal lore and romance in harsh, historical times' Daily Mail

'We first met the Owens in the brilliant novel Practical Magic, then we discovered the tragedy of the siblings in Rules of Magic. Now, we learn how it all began…' Bella

'A vivid and evocative tale – prepare to be spellbound’ Woman 

'Storytelling is in Hoffman’s bones, and the skill with which she dispenses information and compresses time, so that a year passes in a sentence, so that a tragedy witnessed becomes the propeller for a hundred-page subplot, is (forgive me) bewitching' New York Times Book Review

'Vivid and enchanting, with a can’t-miss-it foray into the Salem Witch Trials, Magic Lessons is another sublime entry in an arresting series' Esquire

'Hoffman writes deftly, and often beautifully, about nature, and she can plot like, well, a witch, casting a spell on her reader' Boston Globe

'A gorgeous new novel you won't want to miss' Bustle

'In Hoffman’s luminous prose, all characters, even the villains, are not only vividly, but also compassionately, rendered... Hoffman adeptly highlights that how one uses a talent, selflessly or selfishly, has a sweeping impact on many lives' Booklist
 

More books from this author: Alice Hoffman

More books in this series: The Practical Magic Series