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?


Fasnacht… the Swiss Carnival…

Solothurn, the Swiss town we live in, just finished its annual Fasnacht celebrations on Wednesday.

What is Fasnacht? Well, it is simply the Swiss Carnival – the one time in the year in which the Swiss let loose and go a little lot crazy! Like carnival all over the world, it’s a time for costumes and loud music and drinking and parades and just plain good o’ fun. Of course, there is tradition to consider and tradition says that all this isn’t just fun. It has a purpose – to scare away winter. But traditions in Switzerland are very localised so here in Solothurn they may say “scare away winter”, somewhere else, they would say “Welcoming Spring” – potato, po-ta-toe 😉

i simply enjoy how people are so into this Fasnacht affair. They – the serious ones – prepare months in advance, planning costumes and rehearsing songs with their Guggen Music Bands. Then they take to the streets in the wee hours of morning and party for the next few days! However, i do not enjoy crowds so i watch from the comforts of my living room on the telly. Here are some photos (which others have taken) for you to enjoy. Also a video.

Actually, this year i did more than watch it on TV. i made a costume this year! The last costume i made was a number of years ago when we went as spectators to the Children’s Parade in Bern with a friend. i painted a cardboard box blue, added tails and wings and Tobias went as a plane.

This time at school, the 1st and 2nd grade teachers had planned a party for the kids so they were to go in costume. Guess who Tobias wanted to go as… here are a couple of pictures to help you figure it out…

Isn't he just a cutie in those poses?

That’s right – Harry Potter!

We went around town looking for pre-made costumes and found only one shop selling a Harry Potter outfit. But my oh my! The costs! If i had bought the whole set (cloak and glasses and wand), it would have set us back some CHF70/. There was no way i was going to spend so much on something which is most likely only going to be worn a couple of times. But i didn’t have time to make (we were going on ski holiday). So the compromise – we bought the cloak, i made the wand, Daddy popped the lens out of an old pair of glasses and there we have the Harry Potter look completed.

Here’s a close-up of the glasses and the home-made wand (it’s made out of paper and glue and paint – here’s how).

Homemade Harry Potter Glasses and Wand

i was really quite pleased with the whole costume. Tobias was the only Harry Potter at the party – he was chaffed 😉 He also got to actually go to the “real” parade with a friend (Mummy had to stay home and finish her overdue German homework).

i wonder what he’ll want to be next year…