Books Like Practical Magic
Modern novels featuring witches are also often stories of family bonds, friendship, and sisterhood. Of course, magic still plays an important part, but many of these stories focus on the human side of the characters who have to deal with being shunned our outsiders from society. One of the best examples is Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman. The novel was published in 1995 and quickly adapted into a cult classic film of the same name starring Nicole Kidman and Sandra Bullock. For more novels featuring the more human side of witches, check out these books like Practical Magic.
by Alice Hoffman
The Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman was published in 2017, but it is a prequel instead of a sequel. In this novel, it is the aunts from Practical Magic, Frances, and Jet, along with their brother Vincent, who get a chance to shine. Their mother knew that the Owens siblings are unique, so she laid down some ground rules of magic to ensure that they stay out of trouble. They grow up in New York City during the 1950s and 1960, where they never manage quite to fit in but learn the true nature of their bloodline during a visit to their Aunt Isabelle in Massachusetts. Fans of Practical Magic will enjoy a chance to experience these characters in their younger days as well as learn more about their family.
by Deborah Harkness
A Discovery of Witches was published in 2011 and is the debut novel of Deborah Harkness. The protagonist is a young scholar named Diana Bishop, who is descended from an old and distinguished line of witches. However, Diana wants nothing to do with magic after the violent death of her parents when she was still a child. Unfortunately, after keeping the world of magic at bay for many years, she exposes herself to it again after opening an alchemical manuscript in the Bodleian Library. Her discovery endangers both herself and magical creatures, forcing Diana to team up with a vampire named Matthew Clairmont and embrace the world she has been avoiding. A Discovery of Witches received two sequels and a television adaptation on Sky One.
by Anne Rice
The Witching Hour by Anne Rice is the first novel in her Lives of Mayfair Witches series. Rice, best known for her epic vampire novels, turned her attention to witches for this series, and the first novel was published in 1990. The protagonist, Rowan Mayfair, is a brilliant practitioner of neurosurgery. She is aware that she has special powers but is unaware that her gift comes from being part of an ancient line of witches. Rowan finds a drowned man off the coast of California and, after bringing him back to life, discovers that he has an unwanted clairvoyant ability. Rowan teams up with the man named Michael Curry, and together they set out to solve the mystery of her past and his unwelcome gift. The Witching Hour is a novel that moves backward and forward in time as it traces the dark history of the Mayfair Witches.
by Ami McKay
The Witches of New York by Ami McKay is set in the 19th century, where Eleanor and Adelaide are the owners of a tea shop in Manhattan called Tea and Sympathy. Both of them are witches, and besides selling tea, their shop also specializes in cures, palmistry, and potions. The duo winds up taking in a younger woman named Beatrice, who is new to the big city. Beatrice ends up at the shop after answering an ad for an assistant and quickly becomes an apprentice to the witches. When the witches discover that Beatrice has unique gifts, they struggle to see eye to eye on nurturing her talents. Unfortunately, when Beatrice disappears, they have no idea whether it was by choice or by force. The Witches of New York is set in a period where women who refuse to conform were not safe, but the lead characters are unwilling to bow down to the pressure of society and are strengthened by their unique bond.
by Melissa de la Cruz
Witches of East End by Melissa de la Cruz is the first novel in the series of the same name. The story follows the lives of Joanna Beauchamp and her two daughters, Frey and Ingrid. This Long Island family loves their sleepy life in North Hampton but harbors a centuries-old secret. All of them are immortal witches who are forbidden to practice magic due to the family's involvement in the Salem Witch Trials. Despite their desire to help others, they have spent their lives hiding their true nature. However, when a young woman turns up dead, the Beauchamp women decide that it is time that they come out of hiding to combat the dark forces that are brewing. Witches of East End also inspired the major television drama of the same name available on Netflix.
by Shea Ernshaw
The Wicked Deep is the debut novel by Shea Ernshaw and was published in 2018. It is set in the small Oregon town of Sparrow and stars a seventeen-year-old girl named Penny Talbot. Penny knows about the dark history of the town as two centuries ago, three sisters were accused of witchcraft and sentenced to death. They were drowned in the deep waters surrounding the town but returned for a brief time each summer for revenge. Tourists flock to the town to see if the legends are true, but Penny has seen things that others have not. When a boy named Bo arrives in town, he is unaware of the curse and the danger he is in, so Penny tries her best to keep him safe. However, both Penny and Bo suspect each other of hiding secrets.