When I heard that J.K. Rowling was going to be writing an adult fiction novel, my first thoughts were apprehensive. As the deadline for the novel’s release crept closer, I finally buckled down and decided I would read it (although I’m super annoyed at the ridiculously expensive Kindle price for the book).
Before you even read the book, if you are expecting a happy-go-lucky Rowling, you will be disappointed. I made the conscious decision that as I read the book, I would not think of my Harry Potter author, but of a new author instead. I believe that pretending she wasn’t the author seems kind of strange, but it could have been beneficial to my enjoyment as I read.
In “The Casual Vacancy” by J.K. Rowling, we are just introduced to Barry Fairbrother, when he drops down dead at the golf club restaurant in the small town of Pagford, England. The town erupts into a gossipy mess, struggling amongst themselves to determine who can fill Barry’s position on the Parish Council. The town is divided in this aspect, between two factions with opposite ideals for The Fields, a neighborhood filled with people on public assistance.
“The Casual Vacancy” is a darker novel, with scenes involving sex, drugs, physical and sexual abuse, self-harm, and gossipy townspeople.
While I enjoyed the novel, I’m not sure if it’s a must-read. This is a tough review for me to write because I think the book was good, kept me interested, and was an interesting way for Rowling to come out as an adult writer.
Should you read it? I think you should. Will you love it and recommend it to everyone you know? Probably not. I’m left feeling not crazy excited about it, but not disliking it either. I’m very much in the middle.
What are your thoughts on J.K. Rowling as an adult author? Are you going to read “The Casual Vacancy”?