As you all may know, I happen to be a HUGE Harry Potter fan (or "Potterhead"... That's what we call ourselves). So when I heard that J.K. Rowling was coming out with a new book (after all this time), nothing was going to keep me from reading it.
I was not expecting another "boy wizard" chronicle, or another children's book, but I was expecting nothing less than amazing. Because she is J.K. Rowling after all. When I heard that fans were expecting this new book to at least be related to Harry Potter, I found it unfair for J.K. Rowling. I don't think it's fair for fans to automatically assume that since she's come out with a "new book" it's associated with the multi-million dollar, bestselling saga.
The Casual Vacancy was entirely its own entity, and I was fully prepared to dive into it.
What I got- even with being prepared- was not what I expected whatsoever.
When Pagford Parish Councillor, Barry Fairbrother dies suddenly of a brain aneurysm (take "suddenly" VERY literally when starting this book), he leaves an empty spot open on the Parish Council. This then wreaks havoc for those who are left to decide who will take over in his place.
This book follows the important members of the town (council members, potential council members, etc.) and their children, who are going through their own horribly stressful problems as well.
This book was emotionally exhausting in a less obvious way (i.e., Rowling's track record for horribly tragic deaths) and its depth was immeasurable.
J.K. Rowling took the politics of a small town and gave us an insight into the ferocity of the political environment.
This book is absolutely huge! Not only in its page count, but in its detail and shocking revelations as well. J.K. Rowling proves to us in this book that everyone (and I mean EVERYONE) has their own personal demons and skeletons rattling noisily in their closets.
I applaud J.K. Rowling for breaking out of the wizarding mold, and having incredibly versatile writing abilities.