Novelist Alice Hoffman weaves a captivating tale of the Owens sisters in her novel Practical Magic. The story follows the two sisters, Gillian and Sally, as they navigate life with their eccentric aunts and uncles.
Throughout their journey, the sisters learn about practical magic – how to use love and happiness to fight off darkness and sadness. These quotes from the novel will take your breath away!
About Practical Magic Novel
Practical Magic is a magical and enchanting novel by the beloved author Alice Hoffman. The story follows two sisters in the early 20th century struggling against the dark forces that threaten to tear their families apart. The sisters must learn to harness their mysterious powers and use them to overcome the obstacles they face.
This compelling tale is full of rich characterization, fascinating magic, and beautiful writing that draws the reader into a fantastical world unlike any other. Whether you enjoy discovering hidden truths and hidden histories or diving head first into magical escapism, Practical Magic is sure to delight and captivate you from beginning to end.
Here are the best practical magic quotes
The novel was made into a 1998 film with the same name. Hoffman has since produced two prequel novels, The Rules of Magic,2017 and Magic Lessons,2020, and one sequel, The Book of Magic,2021. Let’s look at some of the best quotes from the novel.
1. “Trouble is just like love, after all; it comes in unannounced and takes over before you’ve had a chance to reconsider or even to think.”― Alice Hoffman
Trouble can seem like a random, chaotic force, striking without warning and overwhelming us before we have time to react. However, many believe this reflects true love: passionate, intense, and sometimes unpredictable.
Whether experiencing trouble or falling in love, the two often come on suddenly and take hold before we have time to question or even think about what’s happening. In this way, trouble is not so different from love; both disrupt our lives and leave us utterly transformed.
2. “Sometimes the right thing feels all wrong until it is over and done with.”― Alice Hoffman
3. “It doesn’t matter what people tell you. It doesn’t matter what they might say. Sometimes you have to leave home. Sometimes, running away means you’re headed in the exact right direction.”― Alice Hoffman
4. “Do you ever just put your arms out and just spin and spin and spin? Well, that’s what love is like; everything inside of you tells you to stop before you fall, but for some reason you just keep going.”― Alice Hoffman
5. “Love is worth the sum of itself, and nothing more.”― Alice Hoffman
There is no doubt that love is one of the most powerful and complex emotions that we experience in our lives. Whether we are falling in love, married, or separated from a loved one, it can feel like nothing else can compare to this deep and intense feeling.
Yet despite its pervasiveness and enduring allure, there is still much we do not fully understand about love. One idea that many writers and philosophers have explored over the years is the notion that love is ultimately worth more than any single thing in the world, even itself.
Alice Hoffman eloquently expresses this notion in her quote, “Love is worth the sum of itself, and nothing more.” On the surface, this may seem like an odd statement; how could something so essential to who we are possibly worth more than anything else?
But when understood from a deeper perspective, Hoffman’s words contain a beautiful truth: while love may give us boundless joy and happiness, ultimately, it has no real value outside of its own self. In other words, it exists purely as an end rather than as a way to achieve another goal or outcome.
For those who have truly experienced love in their lives, this knowledge can be incredibly comforting; knowing that something as valuable as love will always be ours no matter what happens can make us feel grounded and secure despite life’s inevitable ups and downs. Thus while we cannot always control what happens to us or those we care about, by holding onto our belief in the unbreakable power of love, we can find peace amidst even the greatest hardships.
6. “The moon is always jealous of the heat of the day, just as the sun always longs for something dark and deep.”― Alice Hoffman
7. “Some fates are guaranteed, no matter who tries to intervene.”― Alice Hoffman
8. “My darling girl, when are you going to realize that being normal is not necessarily a virtue? It rather denotes a lack of courage.” – Aunt Frances”― Alice Hoffman
9. “You can never tell about a person by guessing…that’s why language was invented. Otherwise, we’d all be like dogs, sniffing each other to find out where we stood.”― Alice Hoffman
The quote by Alice Hoffman touches on a fundamental truth about human nature – that we are often unable to truly understand one another. One of the main reasons for this is our reliance on communication through language. By expressing ourselves verbally or in writing, we can better convey our thoughts and feelings and gain some insight into those of others.
As Hoffman suggests, without language, we would be like dogs – trying to rely solely on instinct and intuition to read each other’s emotions. And while these are undoubtedly important tools for understanding others, they cannot provide the depth and nuance that language can.
Thus, by using language to speak with others, we can better bridge the gap between people and build more meaningful connections with those around us. At its core, this quote emphasizes the power of communication to deepen our understanding of one another as individuals.
10. “Sometimes, running away means you’re headed in the exact right direction.”― Alice Hoffman
11. “No one knows you like a person with whom you’ve shared a childhood. No one will ever understand you in quite the same way.”― Alice Hoffman
12. “The lonelier you are, the more you pull away, until humans seem an alien race, with customs and a language you can’t begin to understand.”― Alice Hoffman
13. “Nothing could do that to them, that’s what they used to whisper as they sat on the back stairs, in the dark and the dust, as if desire were a matter of personal choice.”― Alice Hoffman
14. “Goodness, in their opinion, was not a virtue but merely spinelessness and fear disguised as humility.”― Alice Hoffman
15. “People want to ignore what they can’t understand. They’re looking for logic at any cost.”― Alice Hoffman
Traditionally, people have viewed logic and reason as the key to understanding the world around us. Whether through scientific inquiry or critical analysis of historical events, we use logical thinking to gain insight into the workings of society and the natural world.
However, there are some things that simply cannot be explained in rational terms; they are too complex, too subjective, or simply defy our expectations and conventions. As writer Alice Hoffman notes, many people find these confusing or frightening concepts, preferring to ignore them together rather than confront their worldview’s inherent contradictions and paradoxes.
They are often unwilling to accept ambiguity or acknowledge that there may be some matters we will never fully understand. But by refusing to engage with challenging ideas and unsettling truths, we prevent ourselves from truly exploring all that is possible. Ultimately, prioritizing logic above everything else limits us and hinders our quest for deeper knowledge and richer experiences.
16. “It had made her too helpless, because that’s what love did. There was no way around it and no way to fight it. Now if she lost, she lost everything.”― Alice Hoffman
17. “…she wonders if she has something other people don’t. Intuition or hope — she wouldn’t know what to call it.”― Alice Hoffman
18. “Unrequited love is so boring. Weeping under a blue-black sky is for suckers or maniacs.”― Alice Hoffman
19. “Some things, when they change, never do return to the way they once were. Butterflies for instance, and women who’ve been in love with the wrong man too often.”― Alice Hoffman
20. “Sally…can no longer think of love as a reality, or even as a possibility, however remote.”― Alice Hoffman
21. “I never even believed in happiness. I didn’t think it existed. Now look at me. I’m ready to believe in just about anything.”― Alice Hoffman
22. “Real love was dangerous, it got you from inside and held on tight, and if you didn’t let go fast enough you might be willing to do anything for its sake.”― Alice Hoffman
At first glance, the quote may seem like a simple expression of the power of love. After all, many people have experienced that feeling of being completely swept up by their emotions, unable to think or act rationally in pursuit of their desires. And yet, there is something more complex and profound underlying this idea.
The speaker suggests that love itself is dangerous because it can affect us fundamentally so that we are no longer fully in control of ourselves. It can move us in ways that are difficult to explain or even understand, compelling us to make choices that might not otherwise be right for us. In essence, real love has the power to transform us from within, infiltrating our very being and twisting our priorities and desires around our own needs.
But ultimately, perhaps this momentary loss of control is what gives love its true power. If we were always certain about how we should act or what is best for us, we would never truly know what it means to pursue and embrace love with every ounce of our being. Real love may be dangerous, but it is also one of the most powerful forces in the world – because it means putting yourself entirely in someone else’s hands without any guarantees about where you will land in the end.
23. “Pride is a funny thing; it can make what is truly worthless appear to be a treasure.”― Alice Hoffman
24. “I dream of a love that even time will lie down and be still for.”― Alice Hoffman
25. “Every problem has a solution, although it may not be the outcome that was originally hoped for or expected.”― Alice Hoffman
There is a common belief that every problem has a solution, and while this may not always be true in practice, there is certainly some truth to it in theory. Essentially, even when the desired outcome cannot be achieved, there is always some way to address the issue at hand and find a workable solution. Whether it involves exploring different options or simply changing one’s perspective, every problem has the potential to be addressed and resolved.
26. “He has the ability to catch someone by the way that he looks at her, and make her wish he would go on looking.”― Alice Hoffman
27. “All this kissing was making her crazy; it was reminding her of what she could feel, and how it could be when you wanted someone as much as he wanted you.”― Alice Hoffman
28. “How wonderful to say whatever you wanted without having to go over it in your mind, again and again, to make certain it wouldn’t set him off.”― Alice Hoffman
Let’s Wind Up…
The witches in Practical Magic, as Alice Hoffman points out, are misunderstood. They are not evil, they are women who have been dealt a difficult hand in life and have had to find their own way to make do.
The quotes from the novel in this blog post remind us that we should all be kinder to one another and accept people for who they are, not who we think they should be. Thank you for reading, and I hope you enjoyed this brief look into the world of Practical Magic.