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Friday, August 10, 2007

cover of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

The last in this enjoyable series, and well worth the wait. Harry and his two dear friends are on a quest to find and ruin the rest of the horuxes, so that Voldemort can finally be defeated. And for much of the book, they are on their own .. without adults to help them or trust, without comfortable places to stay, without Dumbledore to guide them, without many things. But they have enough to get by on .. even enough to do well with. As they spend a lot of time together with building tension, their attitudes and tempers aren't always the best .. but together they have power. And of course, it comes to a final battle between the two destined to fight to the death. Some beautiful moments happen .. especially since the battle is not just two people, but two armies .. and one army is full of all those characters (and their relatives!) we have come to know and love in the previous six years of Harry Potter's life.

Dumbledore gives one gift to each of the three .. Harry, Hermione, and Ron: to Ron, the deluminator which can put out any light (and also do one other vital thing); to Hermione, a book of wizard fairy tales which she must translate and learn from; and to Harry, the first snitch he ever caught. These three gifts don't seem to make sense. They are simple things that don't seem to have any special powers .. but each does, and plays a vital role at one point or another. That seems to fit well with life too .. as humans, we are given talents or abilities that sometimes don't seem to make sense or be very useful. But they are! At their own time and for their own reasons, even if they are not the reasons we would expect.

The epilogue has gotten a lot of flack, I've heard. Because it's about normal life .. nothing spectacular. But after being chased by Voldemort for seven years (or his whole life), it makes sense that for Harry and for his friends, having 'normal lives' is just the right ending. The whole series has been very much about relationships, about friendship, about mentors who lead well, about the importance of family, about fighting for good no matter what. And the epilogue comes back to these key themes. Savoring relationships that have lasted many years, looking with hope toward the future, enjoying today and what life has given. This is a series well worth reading (and re-reading), and book that finishes the story well. Thanks, J.K. Rowling.

Title:Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Author: J.K. Rowling
Date published:2007
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Series: Harry Potter
Number of pages: 784
Notes: A gift from Aunt Carla!


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