#CBR8 Review #101

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling

[We interrupt this Madeleine L’Engle reading binge with an important foray into Harry Potter. Because…reasons.]

When J.K. Rowling announced that she’d be writing a play about Harry Potter, we all knew she wouldn’t be done with Harry Potter. Several people began plotting ways to get to London to see the play’s premiere. There was controversy that the actress who played adult Hermione was black. The horror, you guys. How DARE black women live in England?????? [For real, though, that was incredibly stupid. I think I need to reimagine Hermione as black in my re-read instead of picturing her as Emma Watson] And then Rowling graciously had the script published for us, so we can all be a part of The Cursed Child. I’ll try not to be spoilery, so those of you who want to read but haven’t won’t be spoiled. [I had Order of the Phoenix AND Half-Blood Prince spoiled for me, and believe me, no one should have to go through that kind of hell. NO ONE]

It’s been 19 years since Harry’s scar hurt. You’d think that life would be great. But Harry’s younger son Albus is struggling to embrace the legacy with which he was born. His dad is famous and his older brother stands for all the things his father represented: mischief, Quidditch, Gryffindor values. So how do you live your own life under a shadow? And what happens when you accidentally unleash evil that can unmake the entire world in which you live?

I’ve read a LOT of mixed reviews on Goodreads and there are two here on CBR. ingres77’s spoilery review is mostly favorable. The Chancellor did NOT love it at all. We spent a lot of time debating its merits. I personally liked it. Having mourned the loss of J.K. Rowling as a “great” writer after reading The Casual Vacancy (yes, I know, incredible snobbery on my part), I have set my expectations very low. I wanted to see her explore elements that she sort of glossed over in the Harry Potter books (notably, not all Slytherins are evil), and she did that. Albus is very different than Harry, and I think it’s overall a good thing. The sort of impetuous GRYFFINDOR!!!! rhetoric is wearying at times (says the Ravenclaw). I enjoyed the book as an addition to the series, but I also liked the epilogue (several did not), and I also happen to like exploration of alternate realities that comes with time travel. Your own mileage may vary.

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