We have to dare to be ourselves, however frightening or strange that self may prove to be. ~May Sarton

from my bookshelf

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

And so it ends.

The adventures of a young wizard and his friends, a 10-year long journey filled with friendship, adventure, peril, laughter, sadness and more magic than you can shake an Elder Wand a,t has come to a close.

Well, it was with no small part of trepidation that I started Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows yesterday morning. I was surprised by how much the idea that the story would finally end played in my mind when I started reading. I didn't want it to be over. Who would live? Worse still, who would die? Rarely does a book hold my attention for an entire day anymore, but I think this series has a magic all its own that has been cast. I can't remember the last time (if ever) a book, or books, in this case, has created this much excitement in so many people. Entire towns held themed parties, bookstores remained opened for hours after their normal closing times, and people have all been united behind a young wizard and his friends and their adventures. I'd be hard pressed to find this kind of energy surrounding any other book anytime soon.

With this last and final book, I think JK Rowling has done us proud. Without giving away any spoilers, let's just say, that after hours of reading, with plenty of laughing, crying, suspense, relief and mystery to fill those hours to brimming, I can honestly say that this last book lives up to the anticipation.

I found myself genuinely concerned about the characters, about their outcomes in the story, and to me, that is a testament to JK Rowling and her story-telling ability. It has felt almost like a privilege to have been able to follow her books and watch her writing ability grow right along with the characters that she so lovingly created. I found I needed to remind myself that these are fictional characters, I would be so caught up in the story, wondering what would happen next.

A part of me is sad that it's all over, that we have reached Harry Potter's seventh and final year at Hogwart's, but there is also a part of me that is glad that it's done, before it gets too big, too much. I think Rowling has ended it well, with the right balance of good vs evil, without taking it too over the top. It's a good place for it to end. I hope she doesn't come back to Harry. Let the story be what it is. The consolation is knowing that whenever I feel a need for a little magic, I know I can always turn to my bookshelf and be whizzing away on the Hogwart's Express in no time.

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