Librarian, Nancy Fort has her review of J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany, and Jack Thornes’ Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. For Potter fans, and those who might want to give this book a read, here are her insights to this new novel in the series.
Oh, how I wanted to like this book. I thought I was over my mild obsession with Harry Potter when the series ended with Deathly Hallows. I was satisfied with how the story ended, though I didn’t care for the Epilogue, I accepted it. Then I took my kids to Universal Studios in Florida and visited the Wizarding World and was plunged into the wonderful world of magic again. I think I loved it more than the kids. It was so fun to walk around a place that I had read about and imagined. My interest in Harry Potter was further fueled by an awesome teen program held at the Bordentown Library during which participants were sorted into Hogwarts houses, played Harry Potter jeopardy and ate magic themed treats.
When I heard there was a play coming out featuring Harry Potter, I was intrigued. I wondered what adventures the boy wizard would get into next. It turns out Harry is a middle aged father trying to figure out how best to parent his children, just like the rest of us. He lost that special spark that made him different. It seems he fulfilled his destiny by defeating Voldemort and has settled into the less exciting business of working for the ministry of magic and raising his family. Harry doesn’t really do much in this book. It focuses more on the trouble his middle son gets into because it is so hard growing up the son of the most famous wizard in the world. Predictably, Harry and his son come to a mutual understanding of each other and their relationship is saved.
The one character I did like in the book was actually the person I detested in the previous books…Draco Malfoy. His character was given a chance to grow a bit and he was more sympathetic as a middle aged parent than a snobbish teenager. The dialogue in the play is rather simplistic and does not give the characters much of a chance to describe what they are thinking or feeling. The stage directions are impressive and I would like to see a live performance to appreciate the work the set designers and technicians did.
I am disappointed that J.K. Rowling chose to tell more of Harry’s story. Why not write a prequel featuring Dumbledore or any of the other Hogwarts teachers? I will definitely be lining up at the box office to see “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” in November. At least it is another glimpse into the wizarding world. And as one of my co-workers said about the Cursed Child…”it’s better than nothing”.