POST CARDS FROM THE MUSE
A New World
By Nandy Ekle
J.K. Rowling. What more can I say? This author invented an entire culture that captured the hearts of children, young and old, all over the world. Of course, she is best known for the Harry Potter books, which has effected every person on the face of the earth for the past 20 years. Whether you’re a fan of Potter World or not, you’ve heard of them and the lingo created and used by those who do adore them.
Having just gone through all seven books again, for the umpteenth time, I was once again amazed by the brilliance of Ms. Rowing’s story-telling abilities. Her style in these books, having been written for children, is easy and comfortable. And the stories meld together perfectly. The first two books are really more about background, but nowhere like an information dump. The real story actually starts in book three. This is where the story gets a little darker, more serious, down to the nitty gritty, you might say.
By the time you get to the seventh book, Ms. Rowling’s genius really shines. The first half of that book is Harry, Ron, and Hermione wandering around England trying to solve the mystery of what comes next and why. This half of the book is actually a very clever review of the first six books. Every place they go, every person they meet, every situation they encounter is due to something that happened before. Re-reading this just a couple of weeks ago, the absolute brilliance of how she accomplished this took my breath away.
In the middle of the book, after the characters are captured, a tragedy occurs which brings all the events from the past together and awakens the hero. Ms. Rowling once again hits her readers straight in the heart as Harry embraces his destiny and becomes proactive. Instead of hiding and avoiding the world, he stands up to become the leader he’s been told for the past seven years he is meant to be.
The war begins. In a last burst of sheer nerve, Ms. Rowling pulls no punches as she subjects her young readers to a tragedy which hits very close to home, which leads to the most shocking fact we all forgot the whole time we were following the entire tale. It is this one tiny forgotten piece of the story that comes into play in the final confrontation which makes us look up from the page in total amazement and say, “Oh, yeah! That makes perfect sense!”
Now, J.K. Rowling is known for the Harry Potter books, as well she should be because they are incredible. However, she has authored several other books which are also excellent reads, though not intended for younger readers. A Casual Vacancy is the story of what happens to a town after the sudden but natural death of a councilman. Imagine laying a bed sheet on the ground and placing several stuffed animals around on the sheet. Now you and three of your friends each take a corner of the sheet, raise it up in the air and shake it. Then let go of the sheet and see what happens when it floats back to the ground, and where do the stuffed animals end up? This is what reading the book is like.
Another thing about Ms. Rowing is she has a pseudonym. She has written a series of three detective stories under the name Robert Gilbraith. If you like mystery stories, you should read these. The first is Cuckoo’s Calling; then comes The Silkworm; and then Career of Evil.
So, if you love the cleverness of a story set in a world that charms the universe, or if you love the epic thrill of the hero’s journey, or if you just want to know what all the hype is about, read the Harry Potter books. If you want something more mature, try Casual Vacancy and the three mystery books (hopefully a fourth will follow as she left us hanging off a cliff).
Tag Words: J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter, A Casual Vacancy, Robert Galbraith, Nandy Elke, nandyekle.com, wordsmithsix.com