J.K Rowling is one of the most highly recognizable figures in modern-day literature, her work with the Harry Potter franchise has spawned eight hit movies, four theme parks, and a countless assortment of various merchandise, garnering her a net worth of roughly one billion dollars. But even a writer of her stature wishes to continue to pursue perfection in her craft. In 2012, she released her first adult novel titled “Casual Vacancy” which was met with almost unanimous critical acclaim, but has J.K Rowling managed to reclaim her name away from being forever tied to the Harry Potter series?
Let’s take a look at an excerpt from the novel:
Evertree Crescent was a sickle moon of 1930s bungalows, which lay two minutes away from Pagford’s main square. In number thirty-six, a house tenanted longer than any other in the street, Shirley Mollison sat sipping tea that her husband had brought her, she thought to herself that if she had been lucky enough to be in the Harry Potter Universe, she would simply use the Accio spell to procure tea, rather then get her husband to bring it to her. But alas, life was cruel in that way. She reminded herself that while in some ways her life wasn’t perfect, at least she didn’t have to deal with Death-eaters, Boggarts or Dementors. Life was drab and dull, but simple and simple she knew she could handle.
The reflection facing her in the mirrored doors had a misty quality, due partly to the fact that her glasses, which were not dissimilar to the glasses that a certain boy wore in a hit franchise, were off, tucked away in the non-vanishing cabinet, and partly due to the soft glow cast over the room by her rose-patterned curtains.
The bedroom was just large enough to accommodate Shirley’s single bed and Howard’s double, with little space left over for any house elf, were they to exist in the context of this universe. “Another blessing,” Shirley thought to herself. “House elves are probably troublesome creatures. I don’t know how comfortable I am with enslaving another species to begin with.”
As a non-magical being, Shirley was obsessed with logistical issues and practicality. She continued to ponder problems such as what she would feed her house elf, what do house elves eat? Is providing food mandatory? Is owning a house elf even legal in modern times? She snapped herself out of the trance, remembering once again, she mustn’t worry about such issues, as they would never apply to her life.
The soft purr and hiss of the shower was audible from where Shirley and her reflection sat facing each other, and in the mirror Shirley saw nothing but herself, she did not see the thing she most greatly desired, for this was not the fabled Mirror of Erised that a little magical boy encountered in the first book of a hit franchise, this was a regular non-magical mirror, for she lived in a non-magical world without magic. “Indeed I truly do not live in the Harry Potter universe.” Shirley thought to herself.