Coming from a vernacular medium schooling background where English was not included in the syllabi until 6th standard and rookie English were taught till 10th which did not differentiate between literature and language, reading J. K. Rowling books seems like a dream come true. By the time I read Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, the series had already become a phenomenon and the whole world was waiting for Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. Being a voracious and involved reader of fiction I always travel to a different world whenever I read a new one, it’s like living another life but reading the first Harry Potter book felt like transitioning into a different self, as if I was as new born as the one year old Harry who knew nothing about his past, his parents or even himself. Not sure whether every Harry Potter fan feels this way but I think the entire Potter series qualifies as a very well written thriller for kids as well as for adults who still love fantasies and fairy tales. Later in life I have read the entire series three more times and felt that it had anti-depression therapy qualities. It is said that “books are our best friends” and J. K. Rowling ensured by means of her impeccable writing skills that Harry Potter books live up to the saying. Of course Hermione is one of my favorite characters apart from Harry, Albus Dumbledore, Minerva McGonagall, Fred & George Weasley but Severus Snape intrigues me the most. Somehow it always felt that there is something deep inside which is way different from the intimidating persona Snape reflected but all hope got ruined when he killed Dumbledore in Half-Blood Price. I was silently screaming within “nooooooo……!!” Dumbledore trusted Snape with his life and Snape took his life without a blink of an eye! It felt more heartbreaking than Sirius Black’s death in Prisoner of Azkaban. But I was a Harry Potter fan after all! I kept my hope alive till Deathly Hallows was released and I found Severus Snape the way I always wanted him to be or may be better than that. Revelation of Snape’s true character and feelings in Deathly Hallows did complete justice to the depiction of his intimidating character in first six books. Harry Potter books depicted all kinds of human emotions; affection, jealousy, loyalty, anger, rage, sarcasm, annoyance, contempt, sadness, irritation, intelligence, guilt, shame, fear, pride, courage, hope, envy, respect, happiness, trust, hurt, shock… all of them, but “love” was the crux of them. It started with Voldemort’s defeat to Harry’s mother Lilly’s love for Harry and it concluded with Snape’s unconditional epic love for Lilly. Hagrid may not look or sound very pleasant from human perspective but his love for Harry and & friends defined him. Even Dobby is defined by love & loyalty. Ron’s parents Arthur & Molly Weasley presents great depiction of love. On the other hand Voldemort is defined by rage, greed & jealousy exactly the emotions which have the power to break love but ultimately love emerges as the winner and makes us all happy & content. This was the perfect “Happily ever after” ending for a magical fairy tale. Magical in all aspects; storytelling, literature quality, language lucidity, extensive and apt usage of vocabulary, continuity, and completeness.
Casual Vacancy came as a shocker to many J. K. Rowling fans because Harry Potter was her maiden series and nobody expected a children’s literature writer to come up with something like this. Casual Vacancy sealed the fact that Joanne Rowling should never be type casted as a children’s author. She is an author with tremendous literary quality and creativity. She can explore anything to any level if that’s the need of her creation & literature.