Real love was dangrous, it got you from the inside and held on tight, and if you didn't let go fast enough you might be willing to do anything for its sake.
Goodness, in their opinion, was not a virtue but merely spinlessness and fear disguised as humility.
I like Practical Magic. A lot. I'm enchanted by lines like, "Ben is so mixed up that he's begun to do magic tricks involuntarily. He reached for his credit card at the gas station and pulled out the queen of hearts." But I cannot unwind the book from the movie. Even knowing from my first reading (in January) that very little from the movie happens in the book, I still picture Nicole Kidman and Sandra Bullock and Aidan Quinn. And Goran Visnjic (even though we never even see Jimmy alive in the book--just his apparition in the garden).
One of my book group said she loved this book--until about halfway through. Then she was just ready to be done with it. (She hadn't seen the movie, so she had no expectations of the plot.) Halfway through was when I called it quits for the night (I'd begun it as my last book of the read-a-thon), and the second half seemed much slower the next day. I didn't mind the slowness of it, because Hoffman really developed the characters and they were good, interesting characters, but I still wanted more of the aunts.
I wish I'd read the book before I saw the movie (except that I really like the movie, and I don't think I would have liked the movie at all if I'd read the book first).