Readers' Review: "The Casual Vacancy" By J.K. Rowling

Readers' Review: "The Casual Vacancy" By J.K. Rowling

For our December Readers' Review: J.K. Rowling's first novel for adults is set in an idyllic English town that's not what it first seems. The story revolves around residents who form opposing camps after the death of a local parish council member. Diane and her guests discuss “The Casual Vacancy" by J.K. Rowling, author of the "Harry Potter" series.

After the colossal success of her “Harry Potter” series, J.K. Rowling could have enjoyed an early retirement. But after years of creating a world of wizards and "muggles" for young readers, she felt compelled to try something different for a new audience. Her first novel for adults takes place in the fictional English village of Pagford. It centers around town council member Barry Fairbrother and chronicles the personal and political fallout from his sudden death. And while the book’s setting is far from Hogwarts, its characters grapple with problems familiar to Harry, Ron and Hermione -- mortality and the burdens that come with adulthood. Join Diane and her guests for a Readers’ Review of J.K. Rowling’s “The Casual Vacancy.”


Alan Cheuse

fiction writer, journalist, and commentator for NPR's All Things Considered.

Helen Simonson

fiction writer and author of "Major Pettigrew's Last Stand."

Monica Hesse

writer for The Washington Post and author of "Stray."

Read An Excerpt

From “The Casual Vacancy" by J.K. Rowling. Copyright © 2013 by J.K. Rowling. Reprinted by permission of Back Bay Books. All rights reserved.

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