J.K. Rowling’s first post-Harry Potter book is set to hit bookstores in a month.
Two million hardcover copies of The Casual Vacancy, which also marks Rowling’s first novel for adults, will be available in U.S. bookstores Sept. 27, in addition to a digital edition, USA Today reports. It also will be released in the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Germany that same day.
Casual Vacancy is set in the seemingly idyllic town of Pagford, England, whose countryside setting is, in actuality, just a facade. The story kicks off with the unexpected death of a member of the parish council, with the ensuing election sparking a war among the town’s residents.
The book has been described in press materials as “blackly comic.”
Rowling’s American publisher, Michael Pietsch, told USA Today that the book reminds him of the works of Charles Dickens.
“I expect the world to be ecstatic at the range of her imaginative reach,” Pietsch said, adding: “This book isn’t Harry Potter. It is a completely different concern.”
The 512-page novel, from Little, Brown & Co., will retail for $35.
Since the conclusion of the Potter series in 2007, Rowling has overseen the final few Warner Bros.-produced movie adaptations and helped with the slow launch of the Pottermore online network. The seven Potter books have sold more than 450 million print copies worldwide; the eight-part film franchise, which ended with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 in summer 2011, has grossed more than $7 billion.