This last and much anticipated book in the Harry Potter series was released in July 2007 amidst great secrecy and extraordinary logistics. The attempts, largely successful, to embargo the book and release simultaneously worldwide created an hysteria. We were not immune. However - we were travelling by car during its release, a long journey that had two overnight stops, to an isolated place on the Western Australian coast called Coral Bay. The last major town we passed through before our week in relative isolation was Carnarvon (which is not major by world definitions of a town, google it if you want to see what I mean). At this time my daughter was also reading the series and we both wanted the last book. We dropped into a newsagent in the town, expecting to get a copy, but their long faces told us the sad news. The shipment of books hadn't arrived. Carnarvon was the town Harry forgot.
We survived the disappointment and enjoyed our week at the coastal resort - despite being tormented by the sight of another guest who was clearly reading the Deathly Hallows by the pool. The day after our return to the city the kids went to school and the better half started a new job and I went to the shops and bought me a copy of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. I sat in the car and read the first chapter before I drove home. During the next week my daughter read it during the day and I read it after she had retired for the night.
This last book, which has such a convoluted plot to disentangle that it required two movies, was a bit of a struggle at times, but, the last 100 pages are magnificent. The first time I finished the book I went straight back and read those last chapters again. I will read all seven books again, and again. That is why they are on my bookshelf.
I'm a big admirer of Rowling. I think she has some real talents as a writer, particularly her naming of people and things, her twisty plots, her humour and her endearing (and not) characters. I think she is under rated and that her books will still be in print in a 100 years. However I am even more impressed by the fact that she likes to write and despite the global hysteria that surrounded the growing popularity of her books and the films, and the squillions of money she was making, and the subsequent off spring she had, that she managed to complete the series and bring it all home in a fabulous, satisfying and complete finale. She is one tough woman and clearly a compulsive writer. Hooray!