Page 403 of HARRY POTTER AND THE GOBLET OF FIRE is a special page. Especially in the copy that sits on my bookshelf. Picture this: me at twenty-something, a cup of coffee with cream and three pugs smooshed together in a comfy chair in front of the picture window in the living room of the Cape Cod I’d recently bought with my husband. At the end of Chapter Twenty-two (page 402) I got up, stretched and refilled my coffee cup then returned to the chair. Naively (oh, so naively) I began to read again. Little did I know what I was in for.
First was the dog. I never actually saw the dog, but I’m sure there was one. Right around “Fred and George had had a great success with their Canary Creams,” all three pugs went berserk, jumping across my lap to get to the back of the chair where they could perch to bark furiously at the audacious invader. This, of course, sent the coffee sloshing everywhere: all over me and the chair and, of course, the page I was reading. Page 403.
After a quick clean-up and some grumbling at the pugs I returned to the now soggy book. And I read. And read. And read. I just couldn’t stop reading. The end of each chapter was more suspenseful than the last. There was no way I could put the book down. Three hundred thirty one pages later, I emerged sore necked and bleary-eyed from a reading binge that had lasted uncounted hours. If I were a more superstitious person I would believe that there was more than pure change behind the coffee stain that now embellishes page 403. By the way, it also bears a warning on a Post-it-note stating: Point of no return!
If you want a great book that you just can’t put down, it’s this book. Sure the other installments in the series are great too, but this one is my favorite. If, or rather when, you do read this book, however, be warned: don’t pass page 403 unwittingly. It truly is the point of no return!