J.K. Rowling's first grown-up novel is an impressive foray by the author into the world of contemporary adult literature. An intriguing departure for the world-famous author who recently completed the beloved Harry Potter series, The Casual Vacancy is the entertaining and captivating tale of the tiny English town of Pagford whose peaceful appearance hides a dark secret unknown to outsiders - that the town is in fact in a state of perpetual war with itself with multiple factions comprising the warring parties - husbands versus wives, brothers fighting with brothers, teachers battling with their students, and children fighting with their parents.
And when Barry Fairweather, a prominent town council member and local rowing team coach, unexpectedly dies from an aneurism, his now-vacant position on the council sets the stage for the most explosive and widespread conflict that the small, tightly-wound town of Pagford has ever experienced anytime in its history. With the small town's peaceful veneer stripped away none of the town's citizens are safe in the ensuing battle that arises from this tragic and unexpectedly controversial event.
Darkly humorous, constantly intriguing, and filled with surprises, The Casual Vacancy is an unexpectedly thought-provoking novel and an outstanding display of J.K. Rowling's skill and talent as a novelist.
A big novel about a small town
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. The rich at war with the 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 appears. And the empty seat left by Barry on the town’s council soon becomes the catalyst for the biggest war Pagford has seen yet. 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. It is the work of a storyteller like no other.
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