We’ve known for a couple of months that J. K. Rowling’s first post Harry Potter novel was, officially, to be for the adult population. Now we have a title, The Casual Vacancy, and a date, September 27.
From the publisher, Little Brown:
When Barry Fairweather dies unexpectedly in his early forties, the little 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 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?
Blackly comic, thought-provoking and constantly surprising, The Casual Vacancy is J.K. Rowling’s first novel for adults.
The two big questions are: 1) How will Jo Rowling do writing outside of the Harry Potter series she is known for and, 2) How will readers respond to non-Harry Potter work from Rowling?
There is a certain sense of expectation with this book, something that Rowling has to realize that she’ll never live up to. At the same time, I’m looking forward to seeing what else she can do. I just need to make sure to shut down the part of my brain that may try to compare it to Harry Potter and accept The Casual Vacancy on its own terms. Based on the very little that has been announced, it’s got potential.