I finished work at midnight, kept awake when I got home by a little buzz of excitement. As each Harry Potter book was released, it became tradition for me to take the day off school, race to the book store as soon as it opened and spend the rest of the day in bed devouring it as quickly as I could. And so today, nine years after the Deathly Hallows was published, I revived that tradition. On Harry’s birthday, of all days – it seemed like a wonderfully apt way to celebrate! I took the day off work and arrived at Dymocks just as the doors opened, feeling very underdressed amongst the host of witches and wizards eagerly awaiting the unboxing of the books. We counted down the seconds until 9:00, when the boxes could be opened, and with the book in my hands I experienced a blissful rush of nostalgia, the anticipation of re-visiting a world that inspired my childhood. Ever since The Cursed Child was announced, I was curious to know how the story would read as a play, and what kind of world readers would be invited to step into nineteen years after the Battle of Hogwarts. With only the snippets revealed by blurbs on the internet to go by, I looked forward to a story that would combine the adult concerns of Harry, Ron and Hermione with the sense of childhood adventure that I grew up with.
I won’t spoil anything about the book, as I appreciated the secrecy surrounding the plot leading up to its release. Needless to say, I could not put it down, and consumed it in one sitting. It was equal parts surprising and familiar, the unexpected built on the foundations of the earlier books: the strength and loyalty of friends and family. I fervently hope that the play comes to Australia – I can only imagine how spectacularly it would translate to the stage. (There are a few spoiler-free photos on the official website for the curious.) I can’t wait until more people have read it so that I can gush over it with them!
Has anyone else bought The Cursed Child today? Were there celebrations at your local bookshop? Did you find it as un-put-downable as I did? Please share your experiences!