The Casual Vacancy by JK Rowling is her first book since the Harry Potter series ended, her first book for adults and her first ever true test since Harry Potter was published all those years ago.
I was wary at first because despite loving Harry Potter with all my achy breaky heart, I was worried that our generations’ greatest story teller would fall flat. Rowling has done more for childhood literacy than years of work by the Department for Education, and I didn’t want her to fail.
My fears were unjustified and despite a writing style that many literary folk would scoff at, she tells a complex story with a multitude of different characters and presents a gripping tale of social inequality.
At times it seems weird to have the person who imagined Harry Potter now spouting expletives and explicitly describing heroin use but this, to me, was the books only real fault and one that wasn’t even of her doing. She cannot not be JK Rowling, she cannot take back her seven bestselling novels but what she has managed to do with The Casual Vacancy is prove that life really does go on and she has done it in brilliantly.
I am sure that there will be two camps, those that don’t believe that JK Rowling can write for adults and those who believe that her portrayal of social injustice is too simplistic. I believe that JK Rowling writes and tells stories, I don’t believe that she writes for adults or children and her portrayal of social injustice is very reflective of how most people would see these issues from outside the inner circle of intimate knowledge about them.
The Casual Vacancy is a must read for those that enjoy being wholly engrossed in a book, and for those who appreciate a good story well told.
My only ask is that when you buy The Casual Vacancy, you buy it from your local independent bookshop because they need the support.