This month’s book club read is “Practical Magic” by Alice Hoffman. This novel is just in time for fall, in it we see a family ostracized by their community but searching for love. That is what the Owens family is known for… besides being witches. The MCPL Adult Readers Book Club will meet September 27th at 5:30PM in the Rosenwald meeting room. Book club books are available upon request at the circulation desk. Please make sure you return the book by the end of the month if you borrow a hard copy from us, as it is an interlibrary loan.
“The tale of the Owenses' struggle is charmingly told, and a good deal of fun. Dark comedy and a light touch carry the story along to a truly Gothic climax, complete with heaving skies and witchery on the lawn. Ms. Hoffman's trademark narrative voice is upbeat, breathless and rather bouncy. She creates vivid characters, she keeps things moving along, and she's not above using sleight of hand and prestidigitation to achieve her considerable effects. She plays tricks with the reader's expectations by suddenly shifting tenses or passing the point of view around the room like a football. At one brief but memorable juncture, we see things through the eyes of a magician's rabbit.
The witches in this novel are not like Anne Rice witches, exactly, nor are they the brujas you meet in "Like Water for Chocolate" or the tales of the Latin American magic realists, despite the echoes you may hear. Alice Hoffman writes about women who have had their witchiness thrust upon them. They have children they love, dinner to get on the table, boyfriends who are bums or magicians or both. When they have problems, they try to solve them with a house in the burbs, a nice yard, regular living. But somehow these time-honored American solutions never seem to work. That's when you need to send for those little old ladies in black.”
--- “The Witches of Magnolia Street” Byline: By Mark Childress https://archive.nytimes.com/www.nytimes.com/books/98/10/18/bsp/hoffman-magic.html