J.K.ROWLING – The Casual Vacancy.


Nerves mounted as word spread that J.K. Rowling was releasing ‘a book for adults’; how would it ever live up to her Harry Potter franchise? How would she differentiate between child/young adult and adult reader?

As a HP fan I was anxious to buy, let alone read the book, but of course curiosity got the better of me and here I am two weeks and 500 odd pages later, with J.K. still holding my top spot for favourite author.

The story itself was unbelievable. When I read the blurb I signed inside thinking there was no way this was going to be interesting – a guy dies opening up his spot on the parish council and the town residents start fighting over it: bore. NO. I hang my head in shame for ever doubting her; once again she wiped the floor with another audience.

Okay it was obvious that she was trying very hard to separate herself from well know children’s author, and at some points in the book it’s slightly cringe worthy; the language she’s using really doesn’t need to be that, erm how to put it, ‘blue’, and at these points of the story it was crucial to keep telling myself ‘she didn’t write Harry Potter’. But apart from that, I can’t fault anything else – expect that I wanted more! Once again I was sucked into each of the characters lives and I came away craving more of their stories – what happened to them next? It is clear that this is intended as a solo book and it will be a shame if she continues with it (I want her to try something else now).

The story takes a different format to that of what we’re used to with HP – another attempt at separation? But it works well, we meet all the characters on a personal level and the way in which we swap from storyline to storyline is flawless, it just flows and before you know it you’re half way through asking yourself when did I read all that?

The book is packed with emotion and really gets you thinking about what is really going on in other people’s lives. I would love to see the research she did for this story as I think there would be a few nasty shocks!

Once again, a beautifully written novel by Rowling, HP fans will be proud that our novelist idol can produce such contrasting stories but still captivate us all. A MUST read.