I am a big fan of the Harry Potter books. I remember anticipating the release of each book, signing up for the reservation list and scrimping on my meager student allowance so I could save and buy it when it finally comes out. On the day of its release, I would wake up while it is still dark and fall patiently in line (I was mostly the twentieth plus person, though at my earliest, I was number four in line! 😉 ). I would block a couple of hours off my day and breeze through the book. (Those were carefree times, when I still had a lot of time. 😛 ) I even have this fond memory of me and my crush reading Book 7 The Deathly Hallows together–I was reading the earlier chapters and he was reading the last few pages. ❤
So when news came out that an 8th book was in the works, I was of course excited. 🙂 Got hold of it on the first day of release (sans falling in line in the wee hours of the morning), but didn’t get to read it until later in the day after I have put my son to sleep, and I have the entire night to myself.
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child takes off from the final scene in Deathly Hallows, and is set 19 years after the books. And oh what a difference several years make! In the book, Harry, Ginny, Hermione and Ron are already adults, with families and jobs and responsibilities. 😮 (In my world, my then crush is now my husband and between us, is a toddler. 😛 ) I liked that Harry Potter has grown up along with the generation that first loved him, unlike say Nancy Drew who is forever 18! Because as much as it’s nice to be a child and live in a world where friendships are golden and good easily prevails over evil, that’s not how it goes in real life.
The story is intended as play, hence the book reads in the form of a script. It may well be spectacular on stage what will all the special effects, but as a book, it is lacking in vivid descriptive prose.
JK Rowling rehashes the time travel technique she first used in Book 3 The Prisoner of Azkaban. But makes more liberal use of it, taking us back to familiar scenes from the previous books, but mostly from Book 4 The Goblet of Fire. She presents different scenarios of “what ifs/what could have beens.” But ultimately concludes that whether due to choice or circumstance, we are where we should be; and that the past should stay where it rightfully belongs.
The request of Amos Diggory to bring back his son Cedric is a clever segue to the book’s overarching theme of father and son relationships. The titular son may be pertaining to Harry’s son, Albus, who is struggling to get out of his father’s shadow. But there may well be other “cursed” children in the story.
More than the adventure and the magic, the story affected me as a newbie mother (okay, not as new since my son’s already 2 years old, but everything is still a novelty for me 😉 ). For all the courage he has shown, Harry is most afraid *for* his son. Indeed, no amount of magic can prepare you for parenthood. It is one of the most frightening, and yet most beautiful things. And if only for how poignantly this was depicted (I’m trying to imagine the play), Harry Potter and the Cursed Child rates high in my book. 😉
Rating: 4/5 stars.
Have you read “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child”? What do you think about it?