In a long profile of J.K. Rowling at The New Yorker, journalist Ian Parker shared some juicy tidbits about The Casual Vacancy–a novel for adults by the Harry Potter author that has been guarded by nondisclosure agreements and a strict embargo.
If you want to find out more about the top secret novel before it comes out on September 27th, you should read the whole “Mugglemarch” profile.
SPOILER ALERT: If you don’t want to know more about the book, you should stop reading now. Below, we’ve collected five spoilers from the article that show us more about the book.
The long profile describes The Casual Vacancy this way: “a rural comedy of manners that, having taken on state-of-the-nation social themes, builds into black melodrama.”
1. The book will include some mature material, perhaps surprising some younger readers: “public response to The Casual Vacancy will doubtless include scandalized objections to the idea of young Harry Potter readers being drawn into such material. ”
2. At the same time, teenagers play a large role in the book–prompting some comparisons to her work with the Harry Potter series: “Several of the key characters in The Casual Vacancy are in their mid-teens, and the novel seems most comfortable when it’s with them.”
3. The profile also revealed a bit about the cast of characters at the center of the book: “Its attention rotates among several Pagford households, in the Southwest of England: a gourmet-grocery owner and his wife; two doctors; a nurse married to a printer; a social worker. Most of the families include troubled teens.”
4. The profile hinted at a gloomier twist at the book’s conclusion, comparing the ending to the work of a great Victorian realist: “as the novel turns darker, toward a kind of Thomas Hardy finale, it hurtles along impressively.”
5. The plot of the novel hinges on the potential closure of a drug treatment facility on the edge of a more prosperous town, setting up some striking contrasts: “This is a story of class warfare set amid semi-rural poverty, heroin addiction, and teen-age perplexity and sexuality.”