Thursday, September 29, 2016

What We're Reading: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (Erin)

If you are a Harry Potter fan, you have no doubt been paying attention to the recent release of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, as well as wondering about J.K. Rowling's upcoming movie, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.
 The trailer for the movie looks promising, but as this is a "What We're Reading" post, I will leave you to check out the movie information for yourself.  

I confess, I had reservations about reading Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. First, it is technically a screenplay, which isn't my favorite genre of reading material. I prefer paragraphs of description to  quick scene changes. Second, the use of the word "Cursed" in the title filled me with a sense of foreboding. I like happy endings, and I didn't want this new installment to ruin the original series for me. Third, I had heard somewhere or other that, in recent years, J.K. Rowling has rethought who Harry should marry, and I was concerned she might use this book to "fix" the situation. However, my curiosity overruled my reservations and I spent a lovely Saturday morning a few weeks ago reading the book.

Although the screenplay format doesn't allow for as much description as I usually like, having read all seven books in the original series multiple times, I found myself perfectly capable of imagining the characters and settings, even without the extra wording. Also, as a screenplay, the book reads very quickly. Does anyone else remember staying up way too late, trying to get to a good stopping point while reading the later books in the series? Book Five, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is nearly nine hundred pages! Reading a screenplay of just over three hundred pages is a much more manageable commitment.

I was also pleasantly surprised by the content of the book. Being both a daughter and a parent, myself, I can relate to Harry, the busy father of three, and his children. Rowling, along with co-authors John Tiffany and Jack Thorne, wrote a believable grown-up version of Harry, and thought through some of the challenges sure to accompany being the son of someone famous. The plot twists and turns are classic Rowling--clever, yet believable--and they lead to a satisfying resolution.

If you, like me last month, have been putting off reading the book, but also have been trying hard to avoid plot spoilers, may I suggest you clear your schedule, grab a treat and a cup of tea, and curl up with Harry Potter and the Cursed Child?

Let me know what you think when you finish!


  1. Why do you think such a wildly successful author would write something so drastically different like a screenplay? Does she actually intend to turn it into a movie?

    It's interesting she took her popular teen(?) character and made him into an adult for this book. Was he the focal point, or did it shift to his children?

    1. : ) Good questions, Hannah! I believe it was written as a play, to be staged in London and when people found out, they were so intrigued she decided to release the screenplay. Harry and his children shared the focus, making it fun for me (as I am older now!)

  2. This is so great to hear about this book from you, Erin! I have it on my coffee table, and I am so looking forward to reading it. Good to know it is "classic Rowling" and satisfying--great way to describe her plot twists, by the way, "clever yet believable." I'm so excited to read this!


  3. Thanks for posting on this, Erin! I've been holding off reading this for the same concerns you expressed, but I'm so glad you ended up liking it! Yet another book added to my TBR pile :)

  4. Our lists do keep growing, don't they? : )


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