It has taken me a while to get through the new JK Rowling because it is not an easy read. It was not a book where I wanted to race off to read it at every spare moment. It isn’t a bad book, in fact the writing is good, but it is bleak. Set in a small town the events start with the death of one of the Parish Councillors, hence ‘The Casual Vacancy’. Class and the class divides are the dominating themes, but also covered are underage sex, prostitution, drugs, child neglect, domestic abuse, truancy, illiteracy and more more more. Get the idea?
That said, I wouldn’t not recommend it, but it’s certainly not one to read if you are feeling a bit low. I think JK Rowling is very angry about a lot of things in the UK at the moment and having got a lot of this off her chest, her next book will hopefully have a bit more light and shade. That was what is missing for me, a bit of lightness. It was just all grim. I watched an interview with JK with Jennifer Byrne, and JK said she thought there were some funny moments in the book. I totally missed them I’m afraid. You will have to decide for yourself!