by Elizabeth Jancsy ’18
The beloved novel and blockbuster hit Practical Magic gets a new chapter to add to its story. Author Alice Hoffman recently debuted her newest novel The Rules of Magic, a prequel to the original tale.
Set in New York City in the 1960s, this novel follows the life of Susanna and her three children, Franny, Jet, and Vincent. Like many, Susanna has secrets about her family’s past, but these secrets are not revealed to her children until they pay a visit to their aunt in Massachusetts.
Suddenly, everyone seems to know the truths to why they are who they are. Readers get the unique opportunity to follow the sisters of Practical Magic, Franny and Jet, before they became the beloved sisters of the best-selling original novel.
Last week, Hoffman spoke at Evening With Authors, an annual fundraiser for the Gloria Gemma Breast Cancer Resource Foundation hosted by Robin Kall at the Greenwich Odeum in East Greenwich. Hoffman, alongside two other authors, spoke about her newest novel and the work that went into creating something new for the fans.
From speaking candidly about her favorite bookstore to what book she is currently reading, Hoffman kept the audience entertained as they learned more about the author. Hoffman stated that she does not read when she is in the process of writing a book for fear that she will start to inhabit the mind of someone else’s work, and she kept to this regime when creating the prequel.
Hoffman reminded those in the audience that because it is a prequel, no prerequisites are required. Allowing new readers to fall in love with these characters without having read her other work is the joy she has found in creating a prequel for the best-selling novel.
Hoffman also spoke about the making of the movie version of Practical Magic, which starred big Hollywood name Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman. Hoffman explained her role in the production, as she was very hands-on in making sure this story came to life in the right way.
Hoffman spoke lovingly about not only the actresses, but also of the set and production team. As they created “the best kitchen ever in a Hollywood film,” it is safe to say every detail was covered in the world Hoffman created.
The Rules of Magic debuted on Oct. 10 and is already receiving a lot of attention from reviewers and readers, making it a celebration of past success and a gift to future lovers of the series.