An Essential Guide to Alice Hoffman’s Books in Order 

We’ll help you choose which Hoffman book to read next!

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  • Photo Credit: Featured photo: Sneha Girap / Alchetron

In a world full of fantastic writers, it's an incredible feat when someone manages to stand out from the crowd. Case in point: Alice Hoffman, whose artful blend of fact and fantasy, also known as magical realism, has made her a distinctive literary voice. 

Hoffman is most famous for Practical Magic, though she's published plenty of other books during her decades as an author, including children’s novels, YA and adult fiction. But while her audience may change, the beating heart of Hoffman's work is always a celebration of everyday magic—whether that's a kiss from a lover or a bright, full moon. 

Add a bit of whimsy to your reading life by checking out any (or all!) of Alice Hoffman's books below. From the story of a young Amazon queen to a novel about 1960s witches to girls trying to escape persecution in WWII, each one uses magical realism to explore what makes us human and reveal the most powerful force of all: love.

Property Of (1977)

Property Of

Property Of

By Alice Hoffman

From the very beginning of her writing career with her debut novel Property of, Hoffman creates lyrical prose with a riveting plot that gets readers easily hooked. This novel is one of Hoffman’s darker storylines that highlights the tumultuous journey of an unnamed teenage girl’s coming-of-age story while navigating themes of lust, sense of self and influence over others. 

Hoffman’s unnamed protagonist is infatuated with McKay, the president of The Orphans, a gang that is adored by a group of girls who swear loyalty to the members. Our 17-year-old protagonist is intrigued by the gang’s dangerous lifestyle and her deep longing for McKay. But she’ll learn that love has a cost, and only she can decide whether or not she’s prepared to make those sacrifices.    

The Drowning Season (1979)

The Drowning Season

The Drowning Season

By Alice Hoffman

Hoffman’s second novel sees her already writing with her signature style. Here, she tells the story of an aging witch who finds love while trying to wrangle her suicidal son, rambunctious granddaughter, and other eccentric family members. The exploration of the characters' private fears and desires is bolstered by a seamless incorporation of the supernatural, creating a novel that is both spellbinding and thought-provoking.

Angel Landing (1980)

Angel Landing

Angel Landing

By Alice Hoffman

There is a new nuclear power plant under construction on Angel Landing, and Natalie’s boyfriend, Carter, is determined to shut it down, even at the cost of neglecting Natalie’s needs as a partner. Despite the concerns from her aunt, Natalie is willing to stand by him, even if Carter is currently distant and preoccupied with his work. But suddenly two important events happen in Natalie’s life: there’s an explosion at the power plant, and while working as a therapist at a counseling center, she meets a man with a shocking secret and a dark past. Hoffman weaves a tale of romance with the charmful ease of a skilled storyteller in this intricate novel that encourages us to ask ourselves, like her protagonist, what will make us feel fulfilled in our own lives?

White Horses (1982)

White Horses

White Horses

By Alice Hoffman

Teresa’s waking moments may be tarnished by her dysfunctional family, but when she sleeps she is comforted by the dreams of the Arias, handsome outlaw horse riders that were childhood stories fed to her like candy by her idealistic parents. There’s one person in her life that reminds her of the men of her dreams—her brother Silver, a charming and reckless man with a desire for chaos. With touches of magical realism, Hoffman entrances readers with a tale about twisted relationships and the comfort we derive from aspects of childhood that we might be better off ridding ourselves of in fear of using such security as a crutch into adulthood.

Fortune's Daughter (1985)

Fortune's Daughter

Fortune's Daughter

By Alice Hoffman

Fortune’s Daughter unites two heartbroken women—a pregnant single mother and a jaded fortune-teller who lost her own child—as they reach into their pasts and determine their futures. Once again, Hoffman injects her story with magical realism, developing her protagonists' relationship against the backdrop of California’s mythical "earthquake season," a time of great chance and change.

Illumination Night (1987)

Illumination Night

Illumination Night

By Alice Hoffman

When 70-year-old Elizabeth Renny attempts to “fly” from her window, things don’t go quite as planned. Rather, her tumble sets an unexpected chain of events into motion, irrevocably changing the lives of her relatives, neighbors, and acquaintances. Set in Martha’s Vineyard, it’s an illuminating study of the dreams, disappointments, triumphs, and tragedies that connect us all.

At Risk (1988)

At Risk

At Risk

By Alice Hoffman

While Hoffman often writes with whimsy, she never shies away from difficult subjects. At Risk is a prime example. Published in 1988, the novel—which centers around an 11-year-old girl with AIDS—sparked quite a bit of controversy. At the time, the public was largely ignorant about even the most basic facts of the disease, leading to widespread misconceptions and myths. Hoffman bravely sought to rectify this through her novel, encouraging readers to empathize and educate themselves before passing judgment.

Seventh Heaven (1990)

Seventh Heaven

Seventh Heaven

By Alice Hoffman

Seventh Heaven is about individual coming-of-age experiences and the ways our communities can mature and change. A suburban parable with a touch of the supernatural, it follows Nora Silk—a recent divorcée and outcast—as she settles into her new home. Her presence there has a significant impact on her neighbors, whose picture-perfect lives are marked by domestic strife and personal mysteries. The novel takes place in the 1950s, and its fictional Long Island setting is similar to Hoffman's childhood town.

Turtle Moon (1992)


Turtle Moon

By Alice Hoffman

Turtle Moon introduces readers to a band of interesting, complex characters who are trying to run away from something in their lives. One of these characters is a young boy who leaves his divorced mother’s Florida home, taking a motherless baby with him, leading to a chain of events that will alter the characters’ lives forever. Written with heartrending prose and suspense, this novel showcases Hoffman’s expert writing abilities.  

Second Nature (1994)


Second Nature

By Alice Hoffman

When Robin Moore decided to rescue the “Wolf Man” from being placed in a psychiatric ward, she thought it would be a one-sided charitable act. She would assist the childlike, untamed man in learning how to fit in within a community he never had growing up among a pack of wolves. Robin never would have assumed that the man would be able to teach her meaningful things about humanity and play such a significant role in her life. After a tragedy occurs within her community, Robin is forced to recognize the darkness and cruelty of her own world, a world she had thought was less wild than the man she was trying to save. 

Practical Magic (1995)

practical magic by alice hoffman, a book like Little Women

Practical Magic

By Alice Hoffman

Lauded as one of Hoffman’s best novels, Practical Magic follows two sisters, Gillian and Sally, who struggled growing up in their small Massachusetts town since they were deemed outsiders because of their witch abilities. As adults, they try to put as much distance as they can between themselves and their mystical aunts, but they can’t seem to ever completely rid themselves of their ties to magic—no matter how hard they try. Readers will adore this fantastical story and fall in love with this family of witches!  

Here on Earth (1997)


Here on Earth

By Alice Hoffman

An Oprah's Book Club pick and one of Hoffman’s best-loved novels, Here on Earth draws its inspiration from Emily Brontë’s classic love story, Wuthering Heights. Yorkshire's windy moors have been replaced by contemporary Massachusetts, where March, a single woman, returns after many years away. There, she gets a second chance at love with her old sweetheart—though she'll soon find that resurrecting old ghosts can have unpleasant consequences. 

Local Girls (1999)


Local Girls

By Alice Hoffman

This book is comprised of interconnected short stories that relay the coming-of-age of Gretel Samuelson and the experiences of her family on Long Island. Through alternating first-person and third-person perspectives, the author brings us stories of immense sadness and hope, accurately celebrating both the ups and downs of life. 

The River King (2000)


The River King

By Alice Hoffman

The locals are not very fond of the prestigious prep school in their town of Hadden. That’s where the privileged go, and many of the locals feel its elitist aura is unattainable. There’s no hiding the fact that there is certainly a hierarchy in place between the freshman, seniors and faculty. 

But when what was once simple, harmless snobbery within the school turns into a murder investigation, the town must admit they have a bigger problem to uncover. 

Blue Diary (2001)


Blue Diary

By Alice Hoffman

In this story, Hoffman asks readers the question: Can someone truly put their past behind them and become a better person? Readers meet perfect father, perfect husband and perfect neighbor, Ethan Ford.

But Ethan has a secret that has finally caught up to him after 13 years. An awful, heinous secret that destroys the peace of his family and everyone who thought they knew this well-respected man. The police are knocking, and Ethan must prepare himself to finally face his disgraceful past, whether he’s ready or not.  

The Probable Future (2003)


The Probable Future

By Alice Hoffman

Women of the Sparrow Family are special; members of each generation have been bestowed magical abilities: Elinor can detect lies, Jenny can see people’s dreams when they are asleep and Stella can see people’s futures. Now, Stella must use her abilities to keep her father out of jail for a murder he didn’t commit. Along the way, she will meet her estranged grandmother, who may relate to her more than Stella could have ever foreseen, while having to face her family’s haunted past.   

Blackbird House (2004)


Blackbird House

By Alice Hoffman

Some people believe that houses remember the memories of their residents. The Blackbird House in Hoffman’s novel, a small farm in Cape Cod, holds all of the stories of its inhabitants throughout its history, from the British occupation of Massachusetts to the modern day. In this house, people throughout generations will learn about family, love and grief through poignant interconnected narratives with a touch of magical realism that will leave a lasting impact on readers. 

The Ice Queen (2005)


The Ice Queen

By Alice Hoffman

A librarian leading a quiet life is one day struck by lightning. She survives the ordeal but is left with lasting physical damage—she is in a constant state of coldness, a reflection of the protagonist's frozen heart that has been affected since a childhood tragedy. To find some answers, she decides to search for Lazarus Jones, a survivor of a lightning strike who happens to have the opposite side effects after being struck. He is a man on fire—his breath can boil water and his touch burns. As they lean on one another for support, they will find out about each of their tumultuous pasts and discover their connection runs deeper than their shared traumatic experience.    

Skylight Confessions (2007)


Skylight Confessions

By Alice Hoffman

Spanning three generations, Skylight Confessions follows a group of dysfunctional, imperfect people trying to learn how to cope with past hurts. Alice Hoffman asks readers to think about the role destiny plays in our lives and whether we are doomed to repeat past mistakes due to unhealed wounds. 

Hoffman employs the use of a glass house as the setting of this tale to create a stark contrast to the closed-off nature of her protagonists, who attempt to ignore repressed pain. Both dreamy and melancholic, Hoffman creates a powerful story with characters that feel exceptionally authentic to real life.  

The Third Angel (2008)


The Third Angel

By Alice Hoffman

Hoffman brings us another wonderful story of complicated romantic relationships, but this time focusing on three different women’s tribulations regarding love. Madeleine Heller is infatuated with her sister’s fiancé; Frieda Lewis becomes a rock star’s muse; and Bryn Evans can’t let go of her feelings for her ex-husband, even though she is planning on marrying a new man soon. 

Then there is Lucy Green, who blames herself for an accident that occurred in her youth and spends years trying to locate the Third Angel—an angel that will reinvigorate her faith. Love can be messy, and Hoffman is able to capture it genuinely for her reader’s enjoyment. 

The Story Sisters (2009)


The Story Sisters

By Alice Hoffman

This novel is a combination of a coming-of-age story, family saga and romance compiled harmoniously together with haunting prose that reads like a modern-day fairy tale. It follows three sisters: Elv, Claire and Meg. 

Each must learn to live with the choices they have made throughout life as they grow from young girls into grown women. Hoffman does an amazing job of showing the protagonists at each of the various stages of their lives and demonstrating the lessons they learn along the way. 

The Red Garden (2011)

The Red Garden

The Red Garden

By Alice Hoffman

Filled with fascinating characters, The Red Garden is set in Blackwell, Massachusetts, where we are introduced to a young woman with an interesting connection to bears, a young man who flees to New York with his dog and a young wounded Civil War soldier who is saved by a neighbor, to name merely a few of Hoffman’s vivid characters. 

The one thing they all have in common is their connection to a magical garden where only red plants grow and whose secrets await anyone who is willing to discover them.  

The Dovekeepers (2011)


The Dovekeepers

By Alice Hoffman

Based on a true, tragic event, Hoffman meticulously researched and worked on this historical novel for five years to bring us a compelling, heartbreaking story set in ancient Israel. In 70 C.E., 900 Jewish people held out for months against the Romans on Masada, a mountain in the Judean desert. Only two women and five children survived. 

Hoffman brings to life this horrific historical moment through four strong women: Yael, whose father never forgave her for her mother’s death during labor; Revka, who witnessed the murder of her daughter at the hands of Roman soldiers; Aziza, raised as a boy who finds romance with a fellow soldier; and Shirah, a woman with wisdom in ancient magic and medicine. Readers will be intrigued to learn more about each of the women’s lives and enjoy the process of uncovering each of their secrets. 

Survival Lessons (2013)

Survival Lessons

Survival Lessons

By Alice Hoffman

While Alice Hoffman books are usually novels, this memoir proves that she is just as deft at writing nonfiction. Survival Lessons chronicles Hoffman's experience with fighting cancer, chronicling what she learned and offering wit, wisdom, and comfort in “an optimistic instruction manual [for] anyone struggling with self-care in a time of trouble” (Story Circle Book Reviews).

The Museum of Extraordinary Things (2014) 


The Museum of Extraordinary Things

By Alice Hoffman

Coralie Sardie has grown up as one of the stars of The Museum of Extraordinary Things, her father’s Coney Island freak show, where she performs as the Mermaid, trained from a young age to hold her breath underwater for long periods of time while wooing the crowd. But one night she meets Eddie Cohen, a handsome young Russian immigrant who has run away to become a photographer. 

After taking photos of the tragic Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire, Eddie becomes entangled in a mystery surrounding a young woman’s disappearance, all the while falling in love with Coralie. Magical realism, romance and historical accuracy make this a captivating, worthwhile read.  

Conjure (2014) 



By Alice Hoffman

This is a novella inspired by the work of author Ray Bradbury. It is about two teenage girls who meet a mysterious man after hearing rumors that a fallen angel is in their neighborhood. 

But is this angel well-intentioned, or should the youngsters be weary of the promises of a stranger? It explores friendship, what it means to trust someone and the act of following your own intuition.   

The Marriage of Opposites (2015)


The Marriage of Opposites

By Alice Hoffman

The Marriage of Opposites is a historical fiction novel based on real people—the Impressionist painter Camille Pissarro and his mother. Readers get the opportunity to learn about Rachel, a young woman living in St. Thomas in the 1800s who feels misunderstood by her strict family and finds solace in their maid Adelle and Adelle’s daughter Jestine. But it isn’t long before Rachel is married off to a widower with three kids to save her father’s livelihood. 

It isn’t until her first husband dies that she meets Frédérick, her late husband’s nephew, who’s tasked with settling the estate. What transpires between the two is viewed as both an act of defiance from her family and, for the young couple, a passionate love connection. Alice Hoffman uses her lyrical prose with notes of her beloved, enchanted realism to express how one of the most notable artists in France was influenced by his parents’ intense connection.   

Faithful (2016)



By Alice Hoffman

Often, the universe throws us challenges that we aren’t certain we can handle; this is the case for Shelby Richmond of Long Island. After a horrible accident involving her best friend, Shelby must learn to forgive herself and push past guilt to figure out who she has the ability to become if she doesn’t allow her trauma to keep her from flourishing. 

Hoffman reminds readers that it is the small everyday things like dogs, postcards and Chinese food that can bring us comfort in the darkest of times and make us realize that there are still moments worth living and people worth meeting. Readers will become attached to and invested in this young woman’s self-journey, which may even inspire them to reconsider their own life paths.   

The Rules of Magic (2017) 


The Rules of Magic

By Alice Hoffman

Hoffman returns to the world of Practical Magic. Readers will recognize the two heroines as Gillian and Sally’s witch aunts, Franny and Jet, though they’re considerably younger here. As the girls come into their powers during the chaotic 1960s, they search for a love that will survive the notorious Owens curse. The Rules of Magic is just as you’d expect: a smart, delightful, and enchanting prequel to its equally wonderful predecessor.

Faerie Knitting: 14 Tales of Love and Magic (2018)


Faerie Knitting: 14 Tales of Love and Magic

By Alice Hoffman and Lisa Hoffman

You should pick this one up if you are a fan of fairy tales or a fan of knitting, because this novel uniquely combines both in a creative, interactive way for readers. Fourteen fairy tales centering on love, loss and bravery have a knitted garment or accessory that represents the story’s heroine. 

Some items include the Blue  Heron Shawl, the Three Wishes Mittens and an Amulet Necklace. Easy-to-follow instructions make these fun projects appropriate for beginners and advanced knitters. Get ready to feel even more immersed in the world of fairy tales!

The World That We Knew (2019)

Cover of The World That We Knew, a book by Alice Hoffman

The World That We Knew

By Alice Hoffman

Each day the Nazis’ chokehold on Europe grows tighter and it becomes increasingly dangerous to be Jewish in Berlin. Even though it will break her heart, Hanni Kohn realizes that she’ll have to send her 12-year-old daughter, Lea, away for safety.

Hanni seeks the help of a famed rabbi whose wise daughter, Ettie, offers a solution to Hanni’s despair. A mystical Jewish creature, conjured by Ettie from clay and water, will keep Lea safe from the dangers that lie ahead. But the journey that ensues is much more convoluted than anyone could imagine, and the three girls—Lea, Ettie, and the golem Ava—will find their destinies entwined forever.

"WWII fiction has glutted the market, but Hoffman’s unique brand of magical realism and the beautiful, tender yet devastating way she explores her subject make this a standout.” —Booklist 

Magic Lessons (2020) 

Magic Lessons

Magic Lessons

By Alice Hoffman

This novel is a spellbinding prequel to Practical Magic that gives readers an even closer look into the Owens family legacy. Hoffman takes readers back to the 1600s, when Maria Owens is abandoned in a snowy field in England and is ultimately taken in by Hannah Owens. Hannah Owens acts as a parent, confidante and teacher of the “Nameless Arts.” 

We then follow Maria throughout life as she learns about the power of love and the misery of heartbreak, traveling from place to place. Readers will finally understand how Maria ended up in Salem, Massachusetts, and why she invoked a curse that would leave a lasting impact on her family for generations to come.     

The Book of Magic (2021) 


The Book of Magic

By Alice Hoffman

The powerful conclusion to the heartfelt Practical Magic series begins with Jet Owens hearing the telltale sounds of the deathwatch beetle that foresees death. Jet knows she isn’t the only one whose life might be coming to an end. One last attempt to save a young man’s life and break the curse that has been plaguing them for centuries reconnects three generations of Owens women and a long-lost brother. Hoffman has woven a tale that celebrates family and love while providing a satisfying conclusion for her beloved characters.    

The Bookstore Sisters (2022)

The Bookstore Sisters

The Bookstore Sisters

By Alice Hoffman

Isabel Gibson has been gone for a long time. Leaving her parents and sister in Maine, Isabel has become a fiercely independent woman living in New York. She didn’t think there was anything that would draw her back; now that her parents have passed, the family bookstore is almost bankrupt and her sister Sophia, who has been estranged from her for years, doesn’t seem the least interested in communicating any time soon. 

But then a letter appears in her mailbox that leads her back to the place she never thought she’d return. Hoffman weaves a thought-provoking short story about family bonds, grief and forgiveness with endearing characters that will work their way into your heart. 

The Invisible Hour (2023)


The Invisible Hour

By Alice Hoffman

Having been raised in a cult in western Massachusetts her entire life, Mia Jacobs knows there is so much life she hasn’t been able to live, even if she isn’t quite sure exactly what those key aspects are. She is quickly losing the will to live when she reads The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, which incites a love for storytelling within her and introduces her to the magic of reading and writing. 

Hoffman infuses her trademark magical realism to present readers with a story that transports us back in time while exploring the self-empowerment of women throughout the ages. It’s a novel that will remind you how impactful and transformative stories can be.  

Children's Books

  • Fireflies: A Winter's Tale (1999)
  • Horsefly (2000)
  • Moondog with coauthor Wolfe Martin (2004)

Young Adult Novels

  • Aquamarine (2001)
  • Indigo (2002)
  • Green Angel (2003)
  • Water Tales: Aquamarine & Indigo (2003)
  • The Foretelling (2005)
  • Incantation (2006)
  • Green Witch (2010)
  • Green Heart (2012)

Middle-Grade Book

  • Nightbird (2015)

Featured photo: Sneha Girap / Alchetron