I think I have always been fascinated with witches. One of my favorite books as a young, avid reader was “The Witch of Blackbird Pond,” and I’ve continued to be drawn to books with characters associated with witchcraft ever since.
The first Alice Hoffman book I read and loved was “Practical Magic,” so I was very excited to be given the opportunity to review its prequel, “Magic Lesson.” It is everything I’d hoped it would be and more.
The story begins in England in 1664, when Hannah Owens finds a beautiful, abandoned baby girl in a field staring at a very large crow, which insisted on never leaving the child’s side.
The child’s mother must have known she was leaving Maria in kind, gentle caring hands belonging to a woman who would recognize her gifts and teach her the ways of the Unnamed Arts. She also teaches her to always love someone who loves you back.
Yes, this is the same Maria, matriarch of the Owens family, and now the reader finally learns the origin of the family curse while meeting three generations of Owens women.
This is a very emotional, mystical, engaging read. The characters in this novel are brilliantly drawn with Hoffman’s skillful writing. She also beautifully weaves much of the history of the witch scares and prosecutions in both England and Salem.