Book Review: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
Book: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
Author: J.K. Rowling
I had pre-ordered the latest installment of Harry Potter on my Kindle and leisurely spent the last several weeks reading it. Knowing beforehand the book was a script for the London play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child I did not think it would make for that interesting of a read, but I was definitely wrong. The book did feel a little disconjointed at times as the story jumped from scene to scene, but there were more moments where I felt the flow of the writing was so effortless I often forgot I was reading a script.
The story itself was not nearly as enthralling as the earlier Harry Potter books, but it was pretty fascinating to see how the characters I grew up to know and love had developed into adulthood. Like the end of The Deathly Hallows detailed, Harry is married to Ginny (a pair I was never all that fond of) and Ron is married to Hermione. Harry and Ginny have two sons and a daughter, while Hermione and Ron have one son and one daughter. The majority of the play is focused around Harry's son, Albus Severus Potter, and Draco Malfoy's son, Scorpius Malfoy, who become close friends as they both end up being outcasts at Hogwarts. Scorpius is rumored to be the son of Voldemort while Albus gets placed into Slytherin creating a kink in the Potter-Gryffindor legacy. It seemed pretty random, but Albus and Scorpius endeavor to bring back Cedric Diggory using a Time Turner thinking all will be right if they are successful at this. Now of course, the death of Cedric was tragic, however, I truly do not like the idea of rewriting the past in an effort to bring back the dead. Death, in both the Muggle world and the Magical world, should be something left to a higher power. I like to think that Rowling agrees with me in that she killed off many characters and had every opportunity to bring some of them back, but chose not to. There are characters that were already dead and appeared as ghosts, and even Dumbledore came back in this script as a portrait doling out advice to Harry, but full on resurrection does not seem to be Rowling's thing. So, from the get-go I assumed Scorpius's and Albus's journey would be fruitless.
It was very intriguing to see different realities that could have occurred within the Magical world as Albus and Scorpius meddled with time. As readers we got to experience Cedric, Lily Potter, and James Potter before their untimely demises, and a world where Snape was still alive (but The Dark Lord was as well). A lot of changes in time in a story can become quite confusing (the film Inception comes to mind), but in this case it just felt fun, as if Rowling was just playing a big game of "What If?" with her audience.
Now that as readers we have ventured into the next generation of Harry Potter and explored a variety of possible outcomes for the Wizarding World, it is time for these stories to be laid to rest. The Harry Potter books as a series were a magical part of my adolescence; the films also heightened my excitement for the franchise. Although I have not seen the play the reviews have been phenomenal so I would love the opportunity to see it, but as a longtime fan I need closure. I felt like I had it at the end of the Deathly Hallows, and reading this script made it slip away. Now I want to know more about Voldemort's daughter and Voldemort's relationship with Bellatrix (yeah what they had a kid???). The script focuses mostly on father-son relationships, can we now focus on other aspects of the family dynamic within the Potter and Granger-Weasley households? Since I am kind of dark and twisted, delving more into the world where Voldemort survives could be very interesting. Even though this script just opened my mind up to more questions and more possibilities for stories I truly hope this is the last Harry Potter-related work that Rowling pens. With that said, for anyone who is in love with Harry Potter as I am, please read this script, since you probably will be unable to resist the urge to do so anyway. I highly recommend it. If the stars align and I am able to see the play one day, I will be more than happy to write a review on that as well. For now, I will end with my favorite quote from Cursed Child:
Dumbledore: Harry, there is never a perfect answer in this messy, emotional world. Perfection is beyond the reach of humankind, beyond the reach of magic. In every shining moment of happiness is that drop of poison: the knowledge that pain will come again. Be honest to those you love, show your pain. To suffer is as human as to breathe.