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Mother, writer and daydreamer. Also chocoholic and chick-flick lover. But mainly mommy. To two boys, at that! When not escorting my Elder One (EO) to karate class, I'm trying to get in as many cuddles as possible from my Younger One (YO). And when not doing either, I'm hard-at-work trying to maintain a steady relationship with my laptop. And as for the Man I Married (MIM), well, let’s just put it this way – even though we share a bedroom, our most meaningful conversations are held over the cell-phone!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Okay, let me first get this out of the way…I LOVE HARRY POTTER! I just love the entire series and I was going nearly insane waiting for the last book. It’s finally here, in my hands, my home, my heart and I intend to keep it there forever. I am just waiting for my boys to turn ten so that I can introduce them to Harry (the books, my eldest has already seen the first two movies) and hopefully they will have made a new best friend for life. Somewhere in the somewhat-near, somewhat-distant future, bedtime stories will be revolving around magical exploits in and around Hogwarts. Through my boys, I hope to relive the wonder of these magical tales and see things from their viewpoint and through their imagination.

Man, I love, just LLLOOOVVVEEE Harry Potter! J.K. Rowling, you are a genius!

Phew! That felt good, getting it off my chest.

And now. Book Seven. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Where do I begin? What do I say? Let me try.

Being the Potterhead that I am, I can say with absolute conviction that in my opinion, this is the BEST in the entire series. So much better than a Mission Impossible or a Sunny Dutt ‘action’ movie. In fact, no comparison! This book, peace and quiet, an endless supply of café latte and some huge chocolate bars and you’re all set for the weekend.

Without giving much away, this book had everything and more…adventure, secrets revealed, temper tantrums, sentimental mush, drama, heartbreak and a battle of good vs. evil to end all battles. The most important factor about this book is that it answers all the questions that we have been mulling over for the past n number of months. And these are some great answers that we’re talking about here.

We heartily cheer on our favourite wizarding musketeers, as they try to figure out where the remaining Horcruxes are, how to destroy them and ultimately Lord-What’s-His-Name and his boisterous band of psychotic Death-Eaters, each one a pure study of mad, bad, dangerous evil. Especially riveting is the character of Bellatrix Lestrange, who comes across as a fanatical-bordering-on-obsessive Lord Thingamijig groupie.

And it is this evil that makes me wonder if this can be classified as children’s literature at all. Yes it’s true that the books have been getting darker and darker as Harry and his friends grow up and make that transition from tween to teen to young wizard adult. But how much violence can an immature, impressionable mind take in? Do they fully grasp the meaning of what it is to take a life? The word 'kill' is never a word to be taken lightly.

So who is this book for? Not ten and eleven year olds, surely. Fifteen plus? Yeah, I guess, but even then, will they ever be able to fully take in the complex emotions etched out so brilliantly by Rowling? Will they ever appreciate how instinctive it is for a parent to sacrifice his/her life for their child? Will they recognize the compelling and overwhelming power of love and how it can make you do anything? Will they understand that even when the world seems like the worst possible pace to live in, there is reason to carry on, that there are some things worth fighting for?

I am not trying to sell this book short at all. Never. In fact it is a book that all (gasp, dare I use the term? Ahh, what the heck?) elderly teens should read, because it is thought provoking and there is so much to be learnt here. The wonderful thing is that Rowling thwacks us with these lessons in a delightful, unpreachy manner, which makes the whole process entertaining. Valuable lessons in friendship can be imbibed from Harry, Ron and Hermione’s commitment to one another. We learn that we have to live with hope, because without hope, there can be no way to carry on and life not only becomes meaningless, but truly desolate and utterly empty. We are faced with the truth that even our heroes and our icons have flaws and are not infallible, it’s what being human is all about. We learn not to judge a book by its cover and so many other valuable life lessons. Clichéd, maybe, but lessons that can never be taught enough.

So to all you fans, who have started reading it or are still waiting to read it, ENJOY! Savour it, keep those hankies ready, maybe a huge bowl of hot buttered popcorn or onion bhajis and keep a friend handy too, in case you want to rant, rave or simply talk about it all. To all you Potterheads, I wish you everlasting bonds of friendship, the Harry-Ron- Hermione kind!

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