J.K. Rowling’s first book for adults, The Casual Vacancy, hit stores today minus the hoopla associated with a Harry Potter release. Still, the Potter-less book isn’t exactly withering away on back shelves and has already made it to the #1 spot on Amazon’s bestsellers chart.
Gone are magical characters, wizards, and Hogwarts, replaced with the small town of Pagford and its ordinary citizens. A contemporary tale, Rowling’s first book post-Harry Potter is a tale of class warfare rather than warring classes of wizards.
“When Barry Fairbrother dies in his early forties, the town of Pagford is left in shock.
Pagford is, seemingly, an English idyll, with a cobbled market square and an ancient abbey, but what lies behind the pretty facade 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?” – Little Brown
Commenting on her new book, author Rowling stated:
The Casual Vacancy is set in a small community, which involves writing characters who are adolescents all the way up to people in their sixties. I love nineteenth century novels that centre on a town or village. This is my attempt to do a modern version. As a writer you have to write what you want to write; or rather what you need to write. I needed to write this book.”