The Casual Vacancy by JK Rowling

After a popular parish council member drops dead from an aneurysm, the bucolic English town of Pagford comes undone over fears about how a new council member might upset the balance of power with the encroachment of council flats from the next town over.

The Casual Vacancy isn’t quite as high concept as JK Rowling’s more familiar works, but most good novels defy my particular brand of glib summarization.

I always enjoy a complicated soap opera and I appreciated how deftly Rowling wove all the story lines together. It didn’t take me long to get everyone sorted out, even though the relationships were pretty tangled. I do have to admit that the main reason I read it was out of curiosity, to see what else Rowling has up her sleeve. And this book is certainly a departure on just about every level. I was left a little cold by the ending and I’m not sure how long it will stick with me.

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