The Boy Who Lived, Will Always Live On

In my heart…

Is that too cheesy? Sorry, haha. But honestly people may be a bit worn out with all the continuing talk about Harry Potter after all these years, but not I. Always…remember? (still cheesy, sorry haha) The Harry Potter stories will always be relevant and meaningful to me. I have already mentioned before why Harry Potter means so much to me. But in short, I read them at a time in my life when I needed them the most. I was always a push over as a kid and all my friends were never really true friends. I always wished to have friends like Harry, Ron, Hermione, Neville, and Luna. They were kind, understanding and just lovely.  Reading their adventures filled me with something that I just wasn’t getting in real life. And the feelings I still get reading the books are indescribable.

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So yes, as a 27 year old, you might get the eye roll or laugh at still being obsessed with Harry Potter, but unless you’re a potterhead, you just won’t understand.

I am always excited to read new material from the Wizarding World, like the new writing by J.K. Rowling of the Ilvermorny School of Witchcraft and Wizardry (proud Pukwudgie!) and I’m really excited for the new movie, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. However, I still missed my favorite trio. So with the release of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child of course I was extremely excited and at the same time nervous.

So for those of you who don’t know, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is a play written by Jack Thorne based on the original story by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne, and John Tiffany. The script for the play was released in book form so that people who can’t attend the play in London can still somewhat experience the story. Now, when I first read the description of the play I was horrified. What were they doing to my favorite story!? I felt like they were tainting something that was pure and perfect!

“It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband and father of three school-age children. While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places.”

I was worried that this story was going to sully everything I knew about Harry Potter and the wonderful world J.K. Rowling had created. The last words of The Deathly Hallows read “All was well.” But now with Harry Potter and The Cursed Child, we know things are not all that well. Without giving away any spoilers, I did thoroughly enjoy the read. But of course this is not the eighth book although it is the continuation of the story we all love. The script is not wonderfully detailed like the books and was never really intended to be. This is just that, a script to a play that would definitely be more enjoyed seen on stage rather than read. However, J.K. Rowling gave us 7 wonderfully detailed books and 8 visually stunning movies were made, so all we need when reading this script is to use our imagination.

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The story itself went into some dark places that can only be written for adults. There is a part about Harry as a child talking to his aunt Petunia that just made my stomach drop and heart break. Of course we know Harry suffered at the Dursley’s but Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone was written for children so it doesn’t really touch on dark issues. One of the things I really loved was Ron and Hermione’s relationship. It seemed very solid and loving, unlike what many people predicted it would be like for them. Harry and Ginny’s relationship though appearing pretty solid as well seemed a bit lacking in romance for me, but that’s maybe because most of the scenes they had together were in concern for their son Albus.

My favorite new character was Scorpius Malfoy, who reminds me of a mixture of Hermione with a bit of Harry and Ron, if that makes sense. Albus Potter on the other hand, is more difficult to describe without using any impolite words-haha. However, all the events that transpire are believable to the main story. A lot of people were saying this read like really terrible fan fiction, and I think that that is because it is not a book written by J.K. Rowling. It can take you days or weeks to finish a Potter book, whereas I finished Cursed Child in 4 hours. Most of what makes Harry Potter so special is J.K. Rowling’s ability to write amazingly, so amazingly that we believe her world. I love the movies, but one thing that was missing from them and from this script book is the awesome thing that the books had, which was that as the reader we knew Harry’s thoughts and reasons behind every word. We warmed up to Harry because we knew his mind. The books have wonderful layers that are just so intricate that it’s impossible not to delve right into their magical world and feel for the characters so much, as if they were real people. So it’s not fair to compare the Cursed Child to the rest of the Potter books.

One of the things the Cursed Child demonstrated was that no world has a happily every after, even a magical one. And it wouldn’t be fair to expect Harry to lead a perfect life, he is human after all. He was bound to have other struggles beyond Voldemort.  In my mind, having grown up with Harry, I just wanted his whole life to be perfect, even his children to be perfect! But how realistic is that? So in a way I am happy with the plot of this story because it brings more realistic issues into a very unrealistic world. Besides that, we meet lovely new characters and are reunited with some surprising old ones that for me made the whole story worth it :’).

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Those beautiful wonderful books helped me through so much, gave me courage when I needed it and still have a warm place in my heart that fills up a bit more each time I read them. Will the Cursed Child have the same effect? Maybe not. But it will have a place of honor in my mind for sure, if not my heart. And reading it is an experience every potterhead should take part of.

Until next time lovely readers, Jeannete x.

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A Bit About Jane Eyre

Hello dear readers,

I am someone who feels anxious about having unread books in my own bookshelf. I feel that if you buy a book, or are gifted one, then you must read it at least within the year. So every book I own, I have read, except for about a handful. Those unread tittles make me itch with anxiety whenever I remember them sitting alone and unread on my shelf. So in an attempt to start reading those unread books, I picked up Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. Now, I have mentioned in a previous post that I love classics, but I had never gotten around to reading Jane Eyre, even in high school which is when most people read it.

So what brought Jane Eyre to my bookshelf? I was in the mood for a nice romantic movie one day while looking through Netflix and I came across the 2011 film Jane Eyre. I am a huge fan of Mia Wasikowska and Michael Fassbender, so of course I gave it a watch. And I am glad I did because I really loved it. It had all the elements of a great movie, an orphan girl with a troubling childhood, a brooding handsome man in love with a plain girl, a mystery, and a happy ending. So since I enjoyed the movie so much, I become interested in reading the book. Because as soon as I find a movie is based on a book I must read it, knowing it will be a million times better.

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The 2 leads are of course more beautiful than described in the book

I believe in the law of attraction, any ideas and thoughts we set fourth come back to us in many different ways. A few weeks after watching Jane Eyre I took to visiting my local thrift store. I love looking through the old books hoping to find a hidden gem. I had completely forgotten that I had wanted to read Jane Eyre, when the tittle popped out to me while looking through the bookshelves. Sure this book isn’t on top of many peoples reading list and it’s not that surprising to find it in a thrift store. It’s an old story that many people no longer relate to, but I felt it was the universe reminding me that I wanted to read it.

So as I mentioned earlier, this book I had longed for remained unread in my book shelf for more than a year! Yes, when I came home from the thrift store that day I attempted to read the book, but I found myself being bored by the Victorian way of speaking and writing. I set it down and didn’t revisit it. I am somewhat glad I ignored it that day, because I think I was meant to read it when I did. Last week I picked up Jane Eyre and was totally engrossed by it. I have not felt this way about a book in a very long time. I was feeling so many emotions. I was laughing, crying of sadness and happiness, I was stirred by the love story, and was an anxious wreck whenever a suspenseful part came about. It may appear as just a simple story about a plain girl’s life; but in that, we encounter so much more than expected. We find Jane Eyre is anything but plain and her character and sense of self really grab the reader.

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Jane was a true feminist, brave, intelligent, and had a curious inquisitive soul. She has seriously become a role model in my life. After reading this book, I looked at what people thought about it online (big mistake, haha). Many people thought she was a prude for not marrying Mr. Rochester or that the story was dry and boring. I think that her not marrying Mr. Rochester just demonstrates her strength of character and self worth. Not very many would have been able to deny a man that loves them that deeply regardless of the fact that he was married. I asked myself many times if I would. And I don’t think I could have, especially with the way he pleaded with her during their separation. But like Jane Eyre knew, the relationship would have been fraught with guilt and possibly resentment. Is it true happiness if guilt and uncertainty are always looming around you? And sure, I myself had some difficulty with this story the first time I tried reading it, but if you give it a chance it will definitely surprise you and hopefully teach you something, as it did for me.

now I remembered that the real world was wide, and that a varied field of hopes and fears, of sensations and excitements, awaited those who had courage to go forth into its expanse, to seek real knowledge of life amidst its perils”

This quote resonated so much with me. Sometimes we live life in such a routine that we forget that the world is so much bigger than us. That we must seek it and explore it, and learn from it, regardless of how scary that idea might be to us.

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woman are supposed to be very calm generally: but women feel just as men feel; they need exercise for their faculties, and a field for their efforts as much as their brothers do; they suffer from too rigid a constraint, too absolute a stagnation, precisely as men would suffer; and it is narrow-minded in their more privileged fellow-creatures to say that they ought to confine themselves to making puddings and knitting stockings, to playing on the piano and embroidering bags.  It is thoughtless to condemn them, or laugh at them, if they seek to do more or learn more than custom had pronounced necessary for their sex”

I am no bird; and no net ensnares me: I am a free human being with an independent will.”

Women weren’t known for saying things like this in 1847! Charlotte Bronte was definitely a woman beyond her time, thus making her heroine Jane Eyre one as well. Jane Eyre considered herself an equal to men, and I believe that is one of the reasons Mr. Rochester fell in love with her.

I am not talking to you now through the medium of custom, conventionalities, or even of mortal flesh:⏤it is my spirit that addresses your spirit; just as if both had passed through the grave, and we stood at God’s feet, equal,⏤ as we are!”  

“As we are!” repeated Mr. Rochester”

I quickly forgot that the Victorian way of writing had bored me before. Instead it now made me long for daily conversations of this depth. I felt such a rapport with Jane. I even get the feeling she might be a fellow INFJ. That is why I say I read this book at the perfect time in my life. I will forever cherish the way this book made me feel, the longing for a more meaningful life it has stirred within me and the crude reality that I cannot let life pass me by, but must take initiative in times of doubt.

Every atom of your flesh is as dear to me as my own: in pain and sickness it would still be dear.”

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“She comes from the other world⏤from the abode of people who are dead; and tells me so when she meets me alone here in the gloaming! If I dared I’d touch you to see if you are substance or shadow, you elf!”

I also loved the supernatural aspects of this book. I love the fact that Mr. Rochester calls Jane a fairy, elf, and other mythical creatures in an endearing way. Also the mystery surrounding Rochester’s wife was perfectly played out and gives the reader a sense of mystery as they read. Jane’s experience in the red room,her premonitions and dreams all add to the supernatural element found in Jane Eyre.

The ending was truly beautiful and satisfying for a reader that longs for Jane’s and Mr. Rochester’s happiness. I feel like they needed to have gone through that ordeal for Mr. Rochester to really appreciate Jane for the woman she was. Not that he didn’t before, but I think their separation cemented their undying and unwavering love for each other.

And as I had known, the book was much, much better than the movie. I watched the film again after I finished reading the book, and it sadly paled in comparison. All the conversations between Jane and Mr. Rochester, Jane’s thoughts and Charlotte Bronte’s descriptive and emotional narrative are all greatly missed in the movie. But for anyone not looking for a lengthy Victorian read, then the movie should do just fine although I would recommend watching other versions as I will do as well, to see if the others did the book any justice.

Have you read Jane Eyre before, what did you think about it?

I love that Jane addresses her readers, so I think I will do the same ^_^

Until next time, Jeannete x.

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“I know what it is to live entirely for and with what I love best on earth. I hold myself supremely blest — blest beyond what language can express; because I am my husband’s life as fully as he is mine.”

 

Bookends

So today as I was driving home from work I was listening to the 500 Days of Summer soundtrack. If you haven’t heard it, it’s a lovely compilation of really great artists, from The Smiths to Regina Spektor. Ever since I watched the film years ago I loved the soundtrack and I love listening to it every so often. There is a song on there from Simon and Garfunkel called Bookends. Everyone knows the amazing Sound of Silence and Mrs.Robinson whenever Simon and Garfunkel are mentioned, but this song is rarely spoken of.  It is nostalgic and romantic and soft and gentle. It is sad and happy and hopeful and so ridiculously beautiful, it is also very very short. I kept repeating the song over and over. It made driving through horrendous traffic much bearable. And I decided that if I had to pick a song that represents my soul I would pick Bookends.

    “Time it was and what a time it was,

      it was

      A time of innocence

      a time of confidences

      long a go it must be

      I have a photograph

      Preserve your memories

      they’re all that’s left you”

          – Simon and Garfunkel

This song completely encompasses everything that is my soul. The music is sweet, and the song makes you think of days gone by. There aren’t many lyrics but every word is poignant and meaningful and nostalgic. I myself am a very nostalgic person. Nostalgia is a wistfulness for the past and looking back and missing something you once had.  It can be bad to always be looking backwards at what once was and not looking toward the future. But I tend to feel nostalgia for times that haven’t happened yet. For children I might have, for tender moments with the one I love. I am nostalgic even for things that I’ve never experienced. I am also a romantic and I’m sure it plays into this. But how can you long for something you’ve never known? The little warm moments in between moments. I love and long for it all. Also, the title of this song is Bookends and my love of books cannot be missed with my love for this song. So yes that is why this song is a representation of my soul.

Hope you didn’t mind this ramble, I felt like it needed to be written and shared. Is there a song you feel this way about?

Until next time, Jeannete x