We don't know much about J.K. Rowling's debut novel for adults, as advance copies weren't made available for the press (a decision that's understandable, considering Rowling needs no introduction to reading audiences and doesn't need the boost from advance reviews).
But here's what we can tell you: It has absolutely nothing to do with Harry Potter.
This gives Rowling a chance to reinvent herself, but also sets the bar pretty high. After all, legions of adoring Harry Potter fans are likely going to pick up this book, and it's entirely possible they'll hate it just because it's a different genre and subject than what they've come to know and love.
But J.K. Rowling is a talented writer with limitless marketing power, so many contend she could write a book about anything and it would be a hit.
The Casual Vacancy is on a slightly smaller scale than Harry Potter to be sure. Instead of writing about a fantastical, magical world that lives alongside our own, boring Muggle one, Rowling chose the subject of her first non-Potter book to be the politics of an election in a small, English town. A wise decision? Come Sept. 27, we'll see.
The little town of Pagford is much like other small English towns. It has a town market and an abbey, and on the surface, it appears to be an ideal abode, a wonderful place to settle down. But beneath this charming, perfect façade, there is something darker brewing beneath Pagford's surface. The town is at war with itself, and there's nothing anyone can do to stop it.
When Barry Fairbrother passes away unexpectedly, everyone in Pagford is in shock. After all, Barry was only in his 40s and the townspeople expected he'd live to a ripe old age. But Barry's death leaves a void in the town council: an empty seat that is coveted by many people in Pagford. The unexpected and unplanned vacancy of Barry Fairbrother's council seat is the catalyst for the tensions in Pagford to simmer to the surface, and it creates a perfect recipe for an all out war between the townspeople of Pagford.
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