Referred to by the publisher as Rowling’s “first novel for adults,” the book is scheduled for a September 27th 2012 release date and will total 480 pages. Here’s the plot summary for the “blackly comic” novel, from the Little, Brown site:
“When Barry Fairweather dies unexpectedly in his early forties, the little town of Pagford is left in shock.
Pagford is, seemingly, an English idyll, with a cobbled market square and an ancient abbey, but what lies behind the pretty façade is a town at war.
Rich at war with poor, teenagers at war with their parents, wives at war with their husbands, teachers at war with their pupils…Pagford is not what it first seems.
And the empty seat left by Barry on the parish council soon becomes the catalyst for the biggest war the town has yet seen. Who will triumph in an election fraught with passion, duplicity and unexpected revelations?”
Back in February Rowling’s agency, The Blair Partnership, announced on their website that the author was set to publish a new novel for adults. A little handwritten “note” on the site from Rowling stated: “Although I enjoyed writing it just as much, my next novel will be very different from the Harry Potter series.” Based on the description of “The Casual Vacancy,” this seems to be very much the case. Will the Potter fans cross over and buy the new book in droves? Or will the scribe attract a completely new fanbase?