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Book Reflections – Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany and Jack Thorne

harry_potter_and_the_cursed_child_book_cover

Book cover – Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

We first met Harry Potter and his friends Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger 19 years ago in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. J.K. Rowling followed this gift with 6 more books about Harry and his friends at Hogwart’s School. Have you thought about Harry since then? Did you queue to buy any of the books as the were first published?

I did. My little brother and I read the 7 Harry Potter books voraciously and I remember rushing out to buy the new books on the day they were released in Australia. When the first film was released we sewed wizard and witch capes and went in costume with broom sticks and witches hats to the premier. This year I’ve read the first 3 Harry Potter books to my children (aged 7 and 9 years) and now we are reading the 4th. Both children are able to read the books alone but I want to share in the excitement and wonder as they discover Harry’s world for the first time. I also want to be with them in the frightening sections and set a slow pace so that books 5-7 aren’t read until they are mature enough to deal with the dark themes.

Imagine then how excited I was to discover that a new Harry Potter book was released this year! Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is the script of a play. It’s almost entirely made up of dialogue so it’s a quick read. It didn’t grab me and enthral me the way that the 7 books did but I spent a pleasant few hours reading it.

Harry is married to Ginny Weasley with 3 children and Ron and Hermione are married with 2 children. Draco Malfoy, who was unceasingly unpleasant towards Harry at Hogwart’s school has a son the same age as one of Harry’s sons and Ron’s daughter. I won’t give away the plot here or anything specific that happens.

The dominant themes of the play are friendship, discovering identity, father-son relationships, consequences of actions, and dealing with adversity. It was nice to read about Harry and the gang again and it’s good that the play primarily follows their children and not the boring adults that they inevitably must have become! The writing style is simple and a bit different to Rowling’s style but it’s still convincing and true enough to the original characters. My only real objections were to an overly saccharine scene with Dumbledore’s portrait and I didn’t think that the character of Draco Malfoy was believable, did you? It’s not a novel but it does claim to be the 8th part of the series and it’s not that. It’s more like fan fiction really. I enjoyed reading the play but I think that if I had paid for it myself I would be disappointed so I’m glad that a friend lent me the book so that I could read it for free.

What did you think of the script? Did it meet your expectations? Are you glad that Rowling allowed Tiffany and Thorne to return to Harry’s story? Did you see the play on stage? I bet that was great!

This review offers more insights:

“Cursed Child” savvily intuits that Harry’s traumatic youth — losing his mother and father as an infant, growing up with the dreadful Dursleys, and then having to lead a yearslong war against Voldemort — might well have taken a psychological toll, at the very least left him awkward about expressing emotion and deeply afraid of further loss.

I agree with many of the points made in this less positive review and this one.

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