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



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.


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.


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.)


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




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



A Patchwork Planet, Anne Tyler

A Room With a View, E.M. Forster

An Infamous Army, Georgette Heyer

Americanah, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Bleak House, Charles Dickens

Blue Highways, William Least Heat-Moon

Bonjour Tristesse, Francoise Sagan

Bunker Hill, Nathan Philbrick

Burmese Days, George Orwell

Cannery Row, John Steinbeck

Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant?, Roz Chast

Charlotte’s Web, E.B. White

Cloud Atlas, David Mitchell

Cockpit Confidential, Patrick Smith

Cold Comfort Farm, Stella Gibbons

Doctor Jazz, Hayden Carruth

Ed Emberly’s Drawing Book of Animals, Ed Emberly

Endangered Pleasures, Barbara Holland

Envious Casca, Georgette Heyer

Foreign Affairs, Alison Lurie

Gaudy Night, Dorothy L. Sayers

Go Set a Watchman, Harper Lee

Good Poems, Garrison Keillor

Gowanus Waters, Steven Hirsch

Heads in Beds, Jacob Tomsky

Home Cooking: A Writer in the Kitchen, Laurie Colwin

Hyperbole and a Half, Allie Brosh

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou

If on a winter’s night a traveler, Italo Calvino

Lexicon, Max Barry

Longbourn, Jo Baker

Malice Aforethought, Frances Iles

Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand, Helen Simonson

Missoula: Rape and the Justice System in a College Town, Jon Krakauer

Mother Night, Kurt Vonnegut

My Life in France, Julia Child with Alex Prud’homme

Never Let Me Go, Kazuo Ishiguro

Notorious RBG, Irin Carmon & Shana Knizhnik

One Summer: America 1927, Bill Bryson

Out of the Blackout, Robert Bernard

Parnassus on Wheels & The Haunted Bookshop, Christopher Morley

Plotted: A Literary Atlas, Andrew DeGraff

Possession, A.S. Byatt

Reflections on a Gift of Watermelon Pickle…and Other Modern Verse, Stephen Dunning, Edward Lueders, and Hugh Smith

Ringworld, Larry Niven

Rose Madder, Stephen King

Seven Brief Lessons on Physics, Carlo Rivelli

Super Sad True Love Story, Gary Shteyngart

The Annotated Alice: The Definitive Ed., Lewis Carroll & Martin Gardner (with original illustrations by John Tenniel)

The Cuckoo’s Calling, Robert Galbraith

The Dancer of Izu, Kawabata Yasunari

The House Without a Key, Earl Derr Biggers

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, Rebecca Skloot

The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P., Adelle Waldman

The Man Who Mistook His Wife For a Hat, Oliver Sacks

The Martian, Andy Weir

The Modern Kids, Jona Frank

The Monogram Murders, Sophie Hannah

The Mother & Child Project, Hope Through Healing Hands (ed.)

The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, Muriel Spark

The Tender Bar, J.R. Moehringer

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, Rachel Joyce

The Unrest-Cure and Other Stories, Saki

The Westing Game, Ellen Raskin

They Call Me Naughty Lola, David Rose

What If?, Randall Munroe

Up At the Villa, W. Somerset Maugham

84, Charing Cross Road, Helene Hanff


Lead-In Image Courtesy of Scholastic