After a month of reading Shakespeare plays, it was time to move on. And what happened to be my next book? The universe decided it would be another play!
I was able to borrow a copy of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (the official script for the West end production, by J.K Rowling, John Tiffany and Jack Thorne) from my sister.
The story picks up at the epilogue from the seventh book, where Harry is again at platform 9 3/4, but this time he is seeing his children off. It follows his second son Albus, who struggles with growing up in Harry’s shadow, compounded by the usual feeling of uncertainty and inadequacy that teenage years often bring. I don’t want to give too much away, but what follows is a story full of magic & prophesy, quick paced action, swirling overviews of the passage through time, the awkwardness and brave defiance of teenagers finding their way, the struggle to let go of the past and find a new way of being, a new evil and an old one, mistakes and a desperate attempt to fix them…
There are so many things to like about it, but one that is important to me is how the relationship between Malfoy and Harry and his friends has changed over the decade or so since school. While there is still some animosity, it is weaker, dulled by time, a faded memory of what it was. I think this is true of most of the negative things from high school. They lose their grip on you with time, and people move on. Harry and Draco find common ground in wanting the best for their kids, and although they won’t always see eye to eye, they can work together and understand each other.
This book is written is in script format, but with much more direction that is insightful into the characters emotions/thoughts than usual. The Shakespeare plays were predominantly dialogue with a few stage directions, like most scripts I have read. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child gives relatively rich descriptions of the visual happenings on stage, and also the inner working of characters (eg “Harry is heartbroken- he looks at his son desperate to reach out”). I suspect that although this is the ‘official script’ for the actors, it was known all along that it would be released to the public.
If you liked the original Harry Potter stories, I would recommend you do read this book. In some ways it is a little odd or sad, seeing Harry as a secondary character- no longer the centre of everything, no longer leading up to some great purpose, but just muddling his way through adulthood and parenthood like the rest of us. We all like to think we have the best times, or biggest achievements still in our future. But it is also right somehow, that the world moves on, that he is allowed to find a peaceful place in the world, create his own household and just be himself. So I suppose I find it bittersweet. But the counterposed story with the new characters- Albus and his friend Scorpius- is exhilarating and new and interesting.
Coffee Addicted Writer question of the week: Do you encourage other reading friends to start a blog or at least put their thoughts/reviews on public reading sites such as Goodreads, Amazon, etc?
I haven’t so far. I have only been blogging myself for a short while so sometimes I will tell people about what I am doing. But it does take time and effort, and everyone needs to pick hobbies that match up with what is important to them. Also- I like to talk about books in person when I see the people, so its good to not have everyone have already posted about everything 🙂
Book Beginnings on Fridays:
The first lines of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child:
‘A busy and crowded station, full of people trying to go somewhere. Amongst the hustle and bustle, two large cages rattle on top of two laden trolleys. They’re being pushed by two boys, JAMES POTTER and ALBUS POTTER.’
Things begin where the last book ended…
A quote from page 56 of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child:
Pumpkin pasty? Caudron Cake?
And some things never change…