Harry Potter & the Philosopher’s Stone was a gift from my mum one christmas. I was 20 years old and my initial reaction was, ‘MOTHER! You’ve given me a children’s book?’ Needless to say I ignored it for a year or two and in the end, only read it out of desperation for some sort of escapism during the stressful third year of university.
From the moment I picked it up, I couldn’t put it down. I fell instantly and utterly in love with the characters and connected deeply with the story.
I went from being one of those who refused to follow the hype surrounding the series, I became one of those people who pre-ordered the books and turned up to WHSmiths at 9am to collect it the morning of the release. It then became a ritual every year, to collect the book and spend the day reading at Oddicombe Beach.
It wasn’t until I watched one of the documentaries about her, that I gained a whole new perspective on this incredible writer. I’d loved her stories for a long time but only in understanding her incredible journey did I come appreciate her as person.
J.K. Rowling is now my actual heroine. She struggled as a single mum for years, worked on her story with passion and determination, and she never gave up. One thing that struck me in particular was her generosity. She gave, and continues to give, so much of her fortune to charity and as grants to people who ask for it. People would say to her ‘it is unfair for her to have so much money and they so little’. Where I would have felt anger at their expectation of the world owing them a living, and my having earned the right with my hard work to have that wealth, she instead simply gave them the money. There are few people in the world who would do that. To let go of one’s ownership and attachment is a noble quality that I greatly admire.
List of Works
As J. K. Rowling
The Harry Potter Series and supplement books (1997-2007)
The Casual Vacancy (2012)
As Robert Galbraith
The Cuckoo’s Calling (2013)
The Silkworm (2014)
I’m not going to do a review list as the series is so famous already. All I am going to say is that if you haven’t read the books then you really should. Either for yourself or to read to your children. The films are excellent it is true but there is so much more in the books about the world, the spells, the every day lives of magical people and of course the house elves. It is especially wonderful as family book to read together with your child at bedtimes, plus it’s an excuse to get snuggles while you still can. Sadly they grow up all too quickly and all we are left with is the memories of these magical moments and shared experiences.
If anyone has read any of her other books please let me know what you thought of them, as I’d love to hear about them.