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Good Morning America September 26, 2012
   
The Casual Vacancy
by J. K. Rowling

Overview - A big novel about a small town...
When Barry Fairbrother dies in his early forties, the 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 facade is a town at war.
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More About The Casual Vacancy by J. K. Rowling
 
 
 
Overview
A big novel about a small town...
When Barry Fairbrother dies in his early forties, the 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 facade is a town at war.
Rich at war with 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 seems.
And the empty seat left by Barry on the parish council soon becomes the catalyst for the biggest war the town has yet seen. Who will triumph in an election fraught with passion, duplicity, and unexpected revelations?
A big novel about a small town, "The Casual Vacancy "is J.K. Rowling's first novel for adults. It is the work of a storyteller like no other."

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9780316228589
  • ISBN-10: 0316228583
  • Publisher: Little Brown and Company
  • Publish Date: July 2013
  • Page Count: 503


Related Categories

Books > Fiction > Literary

 
BookPage Reviews

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LIFE’S TWISTS AND TURNS
Alice Munro continues to demonstrate her mastery of the short-story form in Dear Life: Stories, another collection of probing, compassionate, beautifully crafted narratives. Many of the book’s 14 pieces take place in rural Ontario, where the author grew up. All of them exhibit the quiet power and luminous prose that are Munro’s trademarks. In the World War II-era “Train,” a soldier jumps from the train that’s carrying him home, an act that sends his life in an unexpected direction. “Amundsen” features a cold-hearted doctor who romances a young teacher and then rejects her—a textbook case of seduction and abandonment that leaves a permanent mark on the woman. The book includes four closely linked pieces that are somewhat autobiographical, giving readers a fascinating glimpse into the author’s past. Munro, who recently turned 82, is still at the top of her game. As this deeply satisfying collection shows, she’s an expert when it comes to laying bare human motives and emotions.

ROWLING RETURNS
J.K. Rowling scores again with The Casual Vacancy, her first book aimed at adult readers. Set in a fictional parish called Pagford, the novel examines the manners and morals of the town’s inhabitants. The death of kind-hearted Barry Fairbrother results in an open seat on the parish council that becomes a source of conflict in the community. Council leader Howard Mollison hopes to redistrict the Fields, Pagford’s low-income, drug-infested sector—an idea Fairbrother opposed prior to his demise. An election for the empty seat is soon slated, with Mollison’s lawyer son, Miles, vying for the position. After controversial postings attributed to Fairbrother’s ghost appear on the council’s website, tensions rise. This compelling book features a broad cast of characters—heroin users, prostitutes, well-to-do parents—and touches upon a number of social issues, including poverty and class conflict. While Rowling has proven time and again that she’s queen of the fantasy genre, she demonstrates here that she’s also a skillful practitioner of modern literary fiction.

TOP PICK FOR BOOK CLUBS
Me Before You is a heartbreaking novel that readers won’t soon forget. Raised in a tiny English town, Louisa Clark doesn’t have big plans for the future—until she meets a quadriplegic named Will Traynor. Will, a former playboy, athlete and adrenaline junky, was hit by a motorbike and now spends his days in a wheelchair. Louisa is hired by his mother to look after him and lift his flagging spirits. Despite her patient’s abrasive, slightly mocking nature, Louisa is drawn to Will. The two develop an affection for one another, but their prospects for happiness are darkened by a plan Will is harboring for the future. Louisa’s attempts to rekindle his passion for daily experience cause her to re-evaluate her own life, and she finds herself growing in ways she never thought possible. Jojo Moyes, a skillful novelist, eschews sentimentality in this poignant tale. She writes about the couple’s relationship in a style that’s clear and unembellished. This is a singular love story that will resonate with readers and provide excellent material for book group discussions.

 
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