Practical Magic Summary & Study Guide

This Study Guide consists of approximately 32 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Practical Magic.
This section contains 509 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
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Practical Magic Summary & Study Guide Description

Practical Magic Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Topics for Discussion and a Free Quiz on Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman.

Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman is the story of Sally and Gillian Owens. The Owens family is comprised of witches but being magical doesn't solve their problems. Sally and Gillian must come to terms with who they are in order to rid themselves of the ghost that now haunts them. This story focuses on the relationships between the women in the family and how they learn to appreciate each other and their own lives.

Gillian and Sally are sent to live with their aunts when their mother and father die in a fire. The girls are certain that they are a burden to the aunts and try not to be in the way. They are tormented by the other children in the town and when Gillian turns eighteen, she elopes with a boy whom she has been dating for a few months. Sally and Gillian promise not to be apart for long but it will be years before they see each other again.

Sally gets married and has two daughters, Antonia and Kylie, but her husband is killed by a drunk driver. Sally grieves for her husband and then takes her daughters and leaves for New York in order to have a normal life. Sally has lived in her home for many years and Kylie is about to turn thirteen and Antonia is sixteen when Gillian shows up at their house one night. She explains to Sally that she has accidentally killed her boyfriend, Jimmy, by giving him nightshade. Sally helps Gillian bury him in the backyard.

Sally and Gillian soon find that they are being haunted by Jimmy's ghost. Sally continues to try and control things herself when an investigator shows up from Arizona looking for Jimmy, whois responsible for the death of three college students. They had thought they were buying drugs from Jimmy which had been, in fact, only jimsonweed and the herb had killed them. Sally and the investigator, Gary, fall for each other and Sally cannot lie to him. She eventually tells him that Jimmy is dead although it had been an accident. She tells him that the important thing is that Jimmy cannot hurt anyone any more and Gary tells her that he has to think about this. When Sally arrives home she finds that Jimmy's haunting is continuing and Gillian tells her that they need to call their aunts.

The aunts arrive and help to rid the house of Jimmy's ghost and the girls realize that the aunts do love them and had enjoyed having the girls around all those years; they had just shown it uniquely. That Thanksgiving, Sally and Gillian spend the holiday with the aunts and the family has grown together and become complete. Sally has received a letter from an investigator from Tuscon explaining that a body had been found in the desert and identified as Jimmy. While at the aunts, Sally is surprised to find that Gary has come back to her. Sally knows that you should fall in love whenever you can.

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This section contains 509 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Practical Magic Study Guide
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