Book Review: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany and Jack Thorne…

I am always slightly precarious when reviewing a very well-known author or book series. But still, i must say this is one i am quite happy to review.

Of course, almost everyone knows the Harry Potter series and a huge number of people have read it and love the characters involved. i like the series and think that J.K. Rowling is a great storyteller. She is just brilliant at weaving in little details which turn out to be a key plot point later in the story. Now she had help with this one – John Tiffany and Jack Thorne. While i am not familiar with these authors/playwrights, i know that together the three of them have written an amazing sequel to the Harry Potter series.

harrypotterCursedChild20180110We start off where we left off at the end of Deathly Hallows, on Platform 9 3/4 at King’s Cross station, with Harry and Ginny, Ron and Hermonie seeing their children off to Hogwarts.

i won’t give away too much (in case there are people who have not read this but still want to). i will tell you what i like about this story.

i like the variety in the characters of the children. i do wish there was more time to explore each of their little personalities but it is a play and there isn’t.

i love the idea of Harry’s son, Albus, becoming firm friends with Malfory’s son, Scorpius. This leads to Harry and Malfory having to work together to get their sons out of trouble. It is nice to see that Malfory has a number of redeeming qualities, which wasn’t clearly seen in the previous books.

There is lots of time travel involved in this one. I can never wrap my mind fully around the going backwards and forwards and how historical events are affected but if you just suspend your disbelieve and confusion for a while, simply go with it, it is an amazing ride through time.

Of course, “you-know-who” is mentioned and this time evil takes an altogether unexpected form. i still am not sure how i feel about this character (not giving too much away) who is so closely linked to Voldemort, because her motivations are still a little unclear, even at the end.

This was a quick read for me, mainly because it is a script and not a novel, which means little scene setting and descriptions, mostly dialogues. But they were good, well-written dialogues which really carried the story.

Now i just wish i could have watched this play actually performed. i’m sure the set designs were fantastic, and i would have loved to see how they manage the time-travel sequences.

One question hangs in my mind – who exactly is the Cursed Child? Was it Albus Potter? i had thought so at the beginning and Albus himself seemed to think so. But when i finished reading, i changed my mind. If you have read this already, what do you think?

syc

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Goodbye 2017… Hello 2018…

It’s the end of another year… time for the usual review (see below for our Christmas letter 2017) … and also looking forward to 2018! Happy New Year!

happynewyear2018

HiHi

How are you? We hope this finds you and your family well, all sharing and caring together as we celebrate the birth of love; the birth of Jesus.

2017 has been a year of ups and downs and quite a few medical encounters.

January and February saw us busy with Tobias’ recovery from his two broken arms. One of the consequence of Tobias’ arms being broken was that he was not able to his final primary school exams and it was decided by the school that his average grades would be calculated from his various tests throughout the year and that he would go into the apprenticeship track for secondary school, which was where we felt suited him best.

Another consequence of his injury was that we went to Paris for our Sports holiday in February instead of the usual skiing. It was lovely to finally see Paris in all its beauty.

The doctor finally gave the all clear for sports activities mid-February, much to Tobias’ delight as it was just in time for his class ski trip.

March and April was a time of much traveling for Walter, around Africa and Europe is mostly where he gets to. Sandra continues to teach Chinese class and Sunday School, as well as run her English Playgroup.

In May, Sandra attended her first writers’ conference in Brussels, hosted by SCBWI (Society of Children’s Books Writers and Illustrators). She enjoyed it very much; the first time she has traveled within Europe alone. And she learned a lot.

Of course, Tobias officially turned a teen in May! Now a 13-year-old boy! No longer a little guy,; he is taller than Sandra now.

May was also when Walter’s father fell seriously ill and was hospitalised. His mother’s health also suffered and she was also in hospital. And they both remained in hospital and rehab care respectively until we arrived in Singapore in July.

So much of our July/August holidays was spent caring for Walter’s parents and arranging for long-term carers for them. It was a tiring and trying time for all involved but by God’s grace, we managed it, with lots of help and support from Sandra’s family and all our dear friends.

Mid-August, we came back to Switzerland fairly tired out but got right back into the routine of school and work, while trying to help keep an eye on things in Singapore.

September was filled with the usual school, work, church and weekend activities. Walter still leading worship at church and fulfilling his role as an elder. Sandra continues as Missions coordinator for the church and leading Mission Focus Sundays for the Sunday School. Tobias now enjoys being in the teen class at church.

October meant lots of work travel for Walter. We managed to squeeze in a short few days holiday in Copenhagen. We like the city a lot and Sandra can certainly see us living there… lol. Walter also had to make an emergency trip to Singapore as well, to sort out family issues and his parents’ care.

November was a whirlwind of activity for us; lots of concert rehearsals for Tobias and Sandra, work travel for Walter, as well as having Walter’s best friend and his family stay with us for 2 weeks, which was great!

Tobias also switched to the academic track at the end of November, which meant a new school (further from home), new timetable, new classmates and teachers, and having to catch up on work he’s missed for the last 3 months.

December saw us having our previous pastor and his wife (they are also Tobias’ Godparents) stay with us for a couple of days, which is wonderful because we have not seen them for quite a number of years as they live in New Zealand.

And now here we are at Christmas!

Wow! That was some year. And through all of that, we have to thank God for everything He has provided; in all of our physical, emotional, mental and spiritual needs, giving us amazing people who supported, encouraged and prayed for us. Thank you all!

Wishing you a Happy Christmas and a Blessed 2018!

syc