Saturday, July 21, 2007

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - spoiler alert

So, like most of the English-speaking world, I was inside today reading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Wow.

Before I go any further, I want to warn anyone who hasn't read the book yet to really, truly, stay away from spoilers. I really think that with this book, more than the others, not knowing what is going to happen makes the book that much more powerful on the initial read. I am going to try not to talk specific plot points, but even so, if you haven't read it but plan to, skip this post.

Although Harry has had to deal with death in all the previous books (even if it is just the specter of his missing parents hanging over him at all times), the theme of this book is coming to terms with death and loss. Harry has to make his peace with death- not just the prospect of his own death, but with the deaths of the many, many people he has lost. His parents. Sirius. Dumbledore. Many people cried at Dumbledore's death at the end of Half-Blood Prince, but I didn't. I did weep like a little girl at this one. I should have known that I was in for it when I choked up at the quotation at the very beginning of the book, before the story even starts. This book was so clearly written by someone who has experienced grief (J.K. Rowling has said that the deaths of her parents were what inspired her to make Harry an orphan); certain passages of it just spoke to me.

The other recurring theme in this book is that everyone good has a dark side, things that they have done that they aren't proud of, and even the "bad" characters may have some redeeming motivation or good qualities, no matter how well-hidden.

It was a terrific book. It went very quickly (although I am a fast reader anyway). I want to re-read it already.

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