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On Our Bookshelves – Harry Potter and the Cursed Child – A Book Review

BOOK: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

AUTHORS: J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany, & Jack Thorne

YEAR OF PUBLICATION: 2016

REVIEW:

I was in London last week when the new Harry Potter play opened. I didn’t have tickets…but I thought I might as well have the next best thing, so I headed over to the Waterstones flagship store in Piccadilly and purchased the book, also just released. I was busy during the week I was abroad but for the plane ride back, it was just the thing, and it was good to be back in touch with Harry, Hermoine, Ron, Ginny, and the rest of the gang, 19 years later.

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William Faulkner famously wrote, “The past is never dead. It’s not even past.” Clearly, he had some insight into the wizarding world. (Perhaps he was even in possession of a Time-Turner himself.) In this case, Albus Potter (Harry and Ginny’s son), struggling with the weight and expectations of his family history, is best friends with Scorpius Malfoy (son of the infamous Draco). With good intentions and the short-sightedness of youth, they travel back in time to attempt to right some past wrongs. Complications ensue. I won’t give away any further details, but I will say that it was a satisfying addition to the series, and thanks to the time travel elements of the plot, we also get to have another visit with some of the characters we’d thought were lost forever.

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The book isn’t a novelization; it is the rehearsal script itself. And, unlike in some of the prior novels, there’s a minimum of clunky exposition of the backstory. You enter the world of Harry Potter here with the expectation that you’re familiar with the characters and what’s come before. (If you somehow missed the prior seven novels and eight movies, this is really not the place to start.) And with some loose ends left at the end (Scorpius’ unrequited affection for Rose, Hermione and Ron’s daughter, for example), I feel quite confident in predicting that there will be more to come. (And I don’t even have a Time-Turner. Or the power of prophesy.)

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RATING (one to five whistles, with five being the best): 3.5 Whistles

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HOW TO PURCHASE: Amazon

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Laura LaVelle is an attorney and writer who lives in Connecticut, in a not quite 100-year-old house, along with her husband, two daughters, and a cockatiel.

Laura can be contacted at laura@newswhistle.com

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Lead-In Image Courtesy of Scholastic