Monday, October 19, 2020

Book Review: Practical Magic, by Alice Hoffman

Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman book cover and review
I love the movie version of Practical Magic and have always wanted to read the book. I'm so glad I finally did.

I don't usually do this, but I'm just going to include the blurb, in case you don't know the premise: For more than two hundred years, the Owens women have been blamed for everything that has gone wrong in their Massachusetts town. Gillian and Sally have endured that fate as well: as children, the sisters were forever outsiders, taunted, talked about, pointed at. Their elderly aunts almost seemed to encourage the whispers of witchery, with their musty house and their exotic concoctions and their crowd of black cats. But all Gillian and Sally wanted was to escape. One will do so by marrying, the other by running away. But the bonds they share will bring them back—almost as if by magic...

The book has very much the same tone as the movie, and it was easy to picture Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman as I read the story. The aunts were my favorite in the movie though, and I was a bit disappointed that, although they were introduced at the beginning of the book, they didn't appear again until the very end. In the movie, they were around most of the time.

It is a light-hearted feel-good story with a happy ending. Not your typical Halloween chiller/thriller, but I would still recommend Practical Magic as perfect for this time of year.

Published by Putnam, 1995
eBook purchased
244 pages

Rating: 4/5

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Thursday, October 15, 2020

Book Review: My Way to You, by Catherine Bybee

My Way to You, by Catherine Bybee book cover and review
I saw My Way to You as a Kindle Daily Deal, and for some reason, it jumped out at me and I bought.  Both the ebook and audiobook. I really enjoyed reading and listening to it. First time I've tried the combination formats.

Parker, in her mid-20s, has for two years been taking care of her younger sister and brother as well as their house and substantial property after the sudden death of her parents. Now, to add to the stress, a California wildfire threatens their home.

The home survives, but the surrounding canyon is devastated. And the rains are coming, which can cause debris and mud to devastate both Parker's and her neighbor's properties.

Colin works for the public works department, and his job is to create dams and structures to control the runoff from the rain. It is a huge project and requires a huge disruption to Parker's life and threatens her security. It doesn't help that Parker is a control freak and needs to know everything and be in charge of everything.

Colin is a "too good to be true" guy. And I got a bit tired of the "poor Parker" interludes, but otherwise this was an interesting, dramatic, and heartwarming story that kept my attention. I rooted for the relationship's development and was happy with the way it played out. 

Apparently, this story is somewhat autobiographical from Bybee. There are two more books in the Creek Canyon series, and I enjoyed My Way to You enough to seek them out. (The third book doesn't come out until November.)

Published by Montlake, March 10, 2020
eBook and audiobook purchased
367 pages

Rating: 4/5

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