J.K. Rowling’s move from Hogwarts to the real world a success

Staff Writer

J.K. Rowling rose to fame writing the much-beloved Harry Potter series about magic, love and all things in between.  However in her newest book, she’s moved to the real world and adjusted well.

“The Casual Vacancy” hit bookshelves and e-readers across the world on Sept. 27 and has since been landing undue comparisons to Rowling’s early works.

Although familiar themes resurface in “The Casual Vacancy,” that’s hardly reason to call them similar.  Good books should address the things at the heart of humanity.

Rowling’s newest book occurs in a world that is particularly harsh, otherwise known as reality. All of her characters have a multitude of shortcomings, and some often don’t seem to have redeeming qualities. The ugly aspect of the characters surface as the central conflict reveals itself.

Barry Fairbrother, a councilor, dies and leaves a vacancy on the council of Pagford. This leaves a casual vacancy that both sides of a divide within the council desperately want to fill. The divide revolves around a clash of the classes. Half the council wants to work to re-zone their town of Pagford to exclude the Fields. The Fields is an ever-encroaching area of people plagued by severe poverty and ever-present drug use.

Rowling’s writing style is reminiscent of John Irving, with gritty and blatant scenes involving sex, physical abuse, rape and the cruelty people often show one another.

Despite the less desirable traits the characters possess, they’re undeniably relatable. Depictions of the characters range from one who wants to be just as authentic as Holden Caulfield to one who self-harms to escape the torment of constantly being underestimated. 

This book realizes that the world doesn’t manufacture happy endings. Good doesn’t always triumph over evil and not everyone can be saved, but the book also shows what a difference one person can make.