My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This seventh and final book of the Harry Potter series is both the best and the worst. It is the worst because you have come to love the characters in the story and now that relationship ends. It is the best for a few reasons. First, it is the most mature of Rowling’s writing, which may be because she is writing for the maturest audience–seventeen year olds–but may also be because she has just gotten better over the course of seven books.
Second, you learn a little something about humans and life. In the end, Harry discovers that Severus had always been on his side–something Dumbledore tried to assure him, but Harry doubted. We learn that we can’t always assume we understand why people do the things they do. Every interpretation of Snape’s actions by Harry was wrong. They both hated each other because they both misread each other. Snape’s dislike of Harry and Harry’s dislike of Snape both fed the other’s misperceptions and their own.
Finally, you learn a little something about humans and God. Dumbledore, I have argued, was a type of God the Father in this story. He reveals to Harry only what Harry needs to know, and leaves much for Harry to discover. Throughout most of the story, Harry is angry and upset with Dumbledore for what he hasn’t told him. Dumbledore, however, turns out to have been very wise in limiting Harry’s knowledge. How often do we find ourselves upset or impatient with God because He isn’t telling us everything we think we need to know. Often, though, in the end, we find that trusting in God gets us exactly where we need to be. This and the above are all things we can learn–among many others–from Harry and his friends.