J.K. Rowling: Magical without Harry Potter?

Can J.K. Rowling keep alive the spark in her writing without help from the Howler, the Deluminator, the Invisibility Cloak, the Hands of Glory, and the other magical devices Harry Potter fans throughout the country have come to love?

It is not Rowling’s critics who think she will fail at this endeavor, but rather, Rowling herself who predicts the unpopularity of her new novel, "The Casual Vacancy." She particularly believes that it will tank among non-British audiences.

“I think there’s a possibility that some people will not enjoy the book. It is a very English book, and it needs to be a very English book, because I’m talking very specifically about a society I know well,” Rowling said in an interview with USA Today.

Rowling proves that no one knows a novel quite like its author, for just from a brief synopsis, its English-ness is made apparent.

It is set in the small English town of Pagford, and tells the story of what happens to its residents after the unexpected death of an official leaves a vacancy in its governing body. Residents include dwellers of a poverty-stricken, drug-and-crime ridden housing project, who are central characters in the story.

Its dark cast of characters is yet another reason for Rowling's belief that audiences will not find the novel as magical as the Harry Potter series. There is no Ron in "The Casual Vacancy", with his cute red hair and boyish freckles.

However, the likability of the novel is inconsequential to Rowling.

“I just needed to write this book. I like it a lot. I’m proud of it, and that counts for me," she said in an interview with The Huffington Post.

The novel goes on sale today. Happy reading.

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