As details of JK Rowling's first novel aimed at adults have begun to leak, a clearer picture has emerged of the most anticipated book of the year and the millionaire author who fiercely guards her privacy.
Ms Rowling, who shot to fame and riches as the author of the Harry Potter series, is to publish her new book The Casual Vacancy, on Thursday.
In recent days she has talked about her troubled relationship with her father, the unhappy teenage years, a failed marriage and a battle against depression.
Details of the book also reflect her fears over increasing inequality in Britain and support for the welfare state that she needed when writing the first Harry Potter book.
The Casual Vacancy has received the largest number of pre-order sales this year, according to Waterstones. It comes five years after the release of the final instalment of Harry Potter. The series sold more than 450 million copies.