Nudged by Sheila at Book Journey, I recently completed (for the 4th time) Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (CoS), the second book in the “Harry Potter” series, and I continue to be amazed by the storytelling skills Jo(anne) Rowling possesses. Her characters, world and plotting were (are) so well-constructed and clear in her mind (though I know she had to occasionally check on certain details as she wrote the latter books), everything stayed true from the first book through the last. This vividness has afforded us, as readers, the experience of knowing these characters and her wizard world as acutely defined and “real.”
In CoS, the many relationships between the main characters grow along with our relationship with all of them. It’s hard to believe the Dursleys could be any worse than we experienced in “Sorcerer’s Stone,” but their pomposity and cruelty will continue to astound us. Friendships grow stronger, rivalries increase, and both trust and suspicions build in all cases, from fellow students to parents and professors and even the Minister of Magic. For the first time we meet loyal, well-meaning Dobby the house elf, the arrogant Gilderoy Lockhart and the clever, self-serving Tom Riddle. Vicariously we get to ride in a flying car, get whomped by a weeping willow, attend a Deathday Party and face fantastical creatures. Through it all, we feel more toward the many characters, both positive and negative, becoming more invested in them and the story.
When embarking on the reread of the Harry Potter series, I didn’t expect to be “wowed” in the same way I was the first few times I read, and then analyzed, the books, simply because there were no surprises left—so I thought! At first I blamed my often slow recall or simply my being removed from the books for such a long stretch. Now I attribute it more to my not having reread them after the release of the final installment in which so many questions were finally answered. As much as I combed these books, along with my “Theory Monger” friends, there were some things we could only guess at. Now, knowing how it all turns out, I’m coming across bits of information this go-round that spark “light bulb” moments! Things I now completely understand and am completely blown away by!
I knew I would enjoy this reread as a reader. I knew I would benefit again as a writer, the reread serving as a review of “how it’s done.” What I didn’t know—though really should have expected—were these “ah ha” moments, now recognizing even more of Rowling’s proficient weaving of foreshadowing and red herrings, as she deftly unfolds the overall plot and subplots.
It’s not that I haven’t read other outstanding books and enjoyed other authors’ work, because I certainly have, and find myself recommending other books often. But there’s something about this series and what this author accomplished that touches me and teaches me like no other. Thank you, Jo Rowling!
I realize I am an avid fan of this series, but not everyone is. I’d love to hear your thoughts!
- Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone: SO Glad I Didn’t Miss THIS Train!
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban: When a Book is a “THRILL RIDE!”
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire: Burned by the GOBLET OF FIRE!
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix: The PHOENIX: No Ordinary Bird…
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince: The Half-Blood Prince: A ROYAL READ
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: An Unforgettable, “HALLOWED” Conclusion