One of the most popular authors of our time has decided to branch out and write for a brand-new audience. She’ll find out next month if she has the winning formula.
But anyone who thought Rowling would take a break obviously doesn’t know her very well. The author has been working on a new book. This time, she’s directing it squarely at an adult audience.
“Set in the little English town of Pagford, The Casual Vacancy revolves around an election held after a member of the parish council unexpectedly dies,” according to USA Today. “Despite the Miss Marple terrain, press materials describe the novel as ‘blackly comic…. Pagford is, seemingly, an English idyll, with a cobbled market square and an ancient abbey, but what lies behind the pretty facade is a town at war.'”
Departing from common practice, Rowling’s publisher is not letting any advance copies of the book leave its sight. It did the same with the Harry Potter books, much to its advantage (presumably because of that old adage: “You want what you can’t have”).
However, if you are a Harry Potter fan and expect something in the same vein, you might be disappointed.
“This book isn’t Harry Potter,” said Michael Pietsch, Rowling’s American publisher, to USA Today. “It is a completely different concern.”
Rowling was a struggling single mom when she released her first Harry Potter book in 1997. According to USA Today, she is now one of the richest women in the world.
The publisher is expecting massive success for The Casual Vacancy, as it has ordered 2 million hardcover copies for U.S. bookstores.
“I expect the world to be ecstatic at the range of her imaginative reach,” Pietsch told USA Today. He said that the book reminded him “of Dickens because of the humanity, the humor, the social concerns, the intensely real characters.”
The Casual Vacancy will hit the shelves on Sept. 27.