The Casual Vacancy
J. K. Rowling
Little, Brown and Company
New York, New York
"A casual vacancy is deemed to have occurred:
(a) when a local councillor fails to make his declaration of acceptanceof office within the proper time; or
(b) when his notice of resignation is received: or
(c)on the day of his death..."
Barry Fairbrother was content in his life. He seemed to have everything, a beautiful and devoted wife, twin daughters, a successful career as a lawyer, and volunteering as a girls' rowing coach and developing the disadvantaged members of this team. He also serves on the small town of Pagford's board which decides how the financial resources of the town are spent.
For the past few days, Barry has had a headache that at times almost capacitates him. Being that today is his anniversary, he plans to take his wife out to eat at the golf club. He would prefer to be at home in bed, but decides to just work through the headache is easier than explaining the problem to his wife.
When he drops dead in the parking lot as the result an aneurism, this small town becomes an infestation of gossip, rumors, and self-serving candidates to fill this "casual vacancy".
The Casual Vacancy is about the fictional town of Pagford. From all appearances, Pagford seems to be the perfect small town. However with Barry's death, it becomes evident that there are many hidden grievances from all the residents. Who will actually fill his council seat without having all their dirty secrets unveiled? The people who reside is this small community are normal, flawed humans with many secrets that they would prefer their neighbors not to know. However, when the council's website starts to reveal secrets of those who either are on the council or applying for the casual vacancy, life changes and not every change is for the best.
J. K. Rowling is the author of the seven Harry Potter novels with The Casual Vacancy being her first adult novel. The characters of The Casual Vacancy are not as loveable as those in the Harry Potter series. The adult gossip and secrets are not as much fun as a game of Quiddytch. Also, there seems to be a lack of purpose in the novel, except who wins the seat. By the time the new councilor is revealed, you feel that the entire council should be abolished. Following the Harry Potter series, The Casual Vacancy has no enchantment in any area.