I’m not lucky enough to be one of the people attending J. K. Rowling’s appearance in New York this October, but I will definitely be reading The Casual Vacancy when it comes out on September 27th. (You can preorder it on Amazon and B&N.) Like many Harry Potter fans, I’m a little apprehensive as to whether I will enjoy this story as much as I loved its predecessor. And, realistically, I won’t. Nor will a lot of her fans and I sense a lot of disappointment coming just from unrealistic expectations. But, that doesn’t mean that it won’t be a great novel, it’s just not going to be the same thing. If The Casual Vacancy has the hallmarks of Jo’s writing that I love (the foreshadowing, great characterization, the ability to draw me into a setting so that it’s like I’m there too), I’ll end up really liking the novel and that’s ok. Rowling doesn’t need me to love The Casual Vacancy, she just needs me to like it enough to keep reading any new content she releases. And I guess we’ll find out how I feel 10 days from now.
Pagford is, seemingly, an English idyll, with a cobbled market square and an ancient abbey, but what lies behind the pretty façade is a town at war.
Rich at war with poor, teenagers at war with their parents, wives at war with their husbands, teachers at war with their pupils…Pagford is not what it first seems.
And the empty seat left by Barry on the parish council soon becomes the catalyst for the biggest war the town has yet seen. Who will triumph in an election fraught with passion, duplicity and unexpected revelations?