The background of Rowling's The Casual Vacancy is set in a small English town of Pagford, with a ‘cobbled market square and an ancient abbey’. The plot of The Casual Vacancy deals with the underlying currents of this rural English society; the clash, tensions and power equations between the rich and the poor, the old and the new, the feminine and the masculine. Meanwhile the Parish Council Election comes closer, and what happens around the election forms the story or subject matter of The Casual Vacancy. J. K. Rowling here deals with both a locale and characters that are poles apart from the Hogsmeade, the Hogwarts School, and the Wizards. It will be interesting to see how far she succeeds, both critically and commercially, in the mainstream English fictions. Given below is a plot summary of The Casual Vacancy. Keep reading!
The Casual Vacancy by J. K. Rowling: First Look
Plot of Rowling's The Casual Vacancy: A story of class conflicts
J. K. Rowling's The Casual Vacancy: Review & critical analysis
The Casual Vacancy will perhaps the so far permanent tag on J. K. Rowling is children's fantasy fictions writer. Rowling is a genius story teller, and we noticed as early as in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone her skills of plot building. Perhaps Rowling rightly felt that after seven novels, eight films and a dedicated theme park, there can be nothing more with Harry Potter and it is time to move on. From Hogsmeade to Pagford, it will definitely be an interesting journey as much for the reader as it was for the author. Instead of wizards, we are going to be associated with Muggle English townsfolk for the first time. Brothers against brothers, wives against husbands, and the Parish Council election; it sounds all very intriguing to me. The setting seems to resemble Hardy in nature, whereas the clashes, tensions and wicked duplicities will certainly remind us of Dickens. However, it seems that under the apparently simple story line of The Casual Vacancy, J. K. Rowling has problematized eternal themes like greed, passion, duplicity and betrayal, of which Hardy was a master. However, unless we read the book, it will be too early to present any complete critical appreciation of The Casual Vacancy, and only time can review J. K. Rowling's new book in the scale of greatness. Nevertheless, we must acknowledge that it is undoubtedly the most anticipated fiction among the upcoming book releases in September 2012.
And yes, just like you, we are also thinking if there is any significance of the lower-case i in Rowling's name in The Casual Vacancy cover design, or it is just for fun.
Expert reviews & comments on Rowling's first novel for adults
What are you thinking about Rowling's new novel? Write us your views on The Casual Vacancy here. Modern literature is reader response, after all!
Blackly comic, thought-provoking and constantly surprising — Little, Brown & Company
Understated design for Harry Potter author's first adult novel gets mixed reception — guardian.co.uk
A big novel about a small town — IBN Live