Magic Lessons by Alice Hoffman

I have been reading a book by Alice Hoffman called Magic Lessons, which is a prequel to Practical Magic and The Rules of Magic. This book tells the story of the matriarch of the Owens women, Maria Owens, who was accused of witchcraft in the 17th century when witch hunting was at his height. The story gives an insight into how women were treated at that point in time, not being allowed to speak up, be educated or have an opinion, for example.

It starts when a woman, who practises witchcraft and healing, takes in a foundling, Maria Owens. Maria grows up to have a natural aptitude for healing and witchcraft. As you might imagine this is not a very safe way to lead your life in the 17th century and the story takes you through many ups and downs, tragedy and love. Maria travels from Essex, England to Curacao in the Caribbean and then on to America.

While on her travels she gets abandoned by the man she believed loved her. She follows him to Salem, which later on will lead to the unravelling of “Owens Curse” origins. If you are interested in the history of witchcraft, you will discover some real figures in history, such as John Hawthorne, magistrate of Salem throughout the witch trials, or Matthew Hopkins, the witch finder general of Essex country. If like me you enjoyed reading practical magic and you wondered of the origins this is a must read and you will thoroughly enjoy this book!

Now I’m all set to read the follow up to this book, The Rules of Magic.

Submitted by Ilka