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While picking up some books at the library the other day, I spotted Harry Potter and the Cursed Child sitting on the counter with the new items. I’m a big Harry Potter fan and have seen this book all over the place, but had never purposely sought it out. How could I pass it over when it was sitting right there in front of me? I couldn’t.
The first thing you should know is that this book is written in play format. You have to pay careful attention to who is speaking, and the story line moves more quickly with fewer extraneous details than in the novels. If you’re looking for a book that exactly matches the previous Harry Potter novels, you will be disappointed. This is something completely different.
This story is set nineteen years in the future from where we left off with Harry, Hermione, Ron, and the rest of the crew. Harry and Ginny are now married, with kids. Ron and Hermione are also married, with a child. Even Draco has married and had a son.
It picks up with their children entering into their Hogwarts education and follows them through to their mid-teen years. Albus (Harry’s son) and Scorpius (Draco’s son) have a hard time fitting in and become good friends. However, Harry is distrustful of Scorpius and tries to thwart their friendship. This is on top of Harry’s already strained relationship with Albus. In an ill-advised plan, Albus tries to right a wrong from Harry’s past, while simultaneously trying to win his father’s approval. Things go haywire and the whole cast has to come together to set things right before evil is again let loose on the wizarding world. I could give you more details, but I don’t want to wreck the story for you. 😉
I enjoyed seeing the old characters in new adult roles. They all show some imperfect tendencies and prejudices, and uncertainty in their new role as parents. I like that this book takes a much deeper look at human nature than you generally get in the older Harry Potter novels. This is a grown up world now, where adults make mistakes and people are more complex. There is less of a line drawn between good and evil, and more emphasis on common priorities in life and how they can draw people together.
If you were a Harry Potter fan in your youth, you will appreciate the grown up complexity of this book. You get to see your favorite characters again, but in the challenging world of adulthood.
Rating: 4 Stars
Until next time…