Okay, nerds, it’s finally here. The eighth Harry Potter book, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, was released at midnight on Saturday. I was super cool about it, willing to wander in a Barnes and Noble sometime Sunday and pick it up all casual-like and read it at my leisure. This was my plan. The reality was, I decided to Amazon Prime it… they delivered it at 2 a.m…. I laid in bed from 3 a.m. to 5 a.m. thinking about it on my doorstep… then finally jumped up and started reading… and was finished by 9:45 a.m. So… maybe I’m not totally super cool about it.
I was in fact equal parts excited and nervous (for reference, I am an adult woman with no children, all evidence to the contrary right now) because I LOVED every previous book and I still re-read them. When I heard about this story coming to London’s West End and the release of the screenplay (“NOT A BOOK” J.K. Rowling kept telling everyone – cleverly trying to lower expectations to absolutely no avail) I have maintained an excitement level between 95 and 100%. Nothing could tamper it down, and I am happy to tell you that it did not disappoint at all.
I don’t in any way want to give any spoilers here, because not everyone is an obsessive compulsive like me, so I’ll stick to the public stuff. The book is based on an original new story, it was written not just by J.K. Rowling, but also Jack Thorne (the playwright) and John Tiffany. It is the eighth book, written as a stage play, and it picks up with the epilogue in Deathly Hallows.
As you recall, Harry and Ginny have three children, James, Albus and Lily. Ron and Hermione have two, Hugo and Rose; and the kids are now school aged and off to Hogwarts. Despite being child heroes, the adults all have boring and stressful adult jobs – Harry and Hermione in the Ministry, Ron at the family joke shop, and Ginny at the newspaper.
The titular “cursed child” is Harry’s middle son, Albus Severus (because we thought giving him that name wouldn’t be a burden?) who is having a hard time fitting in, both at school and connecting to his family and struggling with the legacy of being Harry’s son. I won’t go into any further details, I saw too many spoilers over the weekend.
The story is wonderful – exciting, sad, funny, nostalgic and sweet. Most of all, it feels completely genuine to the original story and brings back so many beloved characters. We’re back in an adolescent boy’s mind again, so it’s very reminiscent of EmoHarry in the Goblet of Fire days, but I loved it. One last thought…Scorpius Malfoy is quite possibly the best character in the entire series, I absolutely loved him. Overall, I hope you love it too.
Grade – A