How surprised I was when this showed up in my mailbox at work today. I’d totally forgotten I’d added it to my cart this summer, only half intending to buy it, and now here it is: J. K. Rowling’s latest, The Casual Vacancy.
Here is a taste of the first page, as the first paragraph will not give enough indication of the first chapter:
“Barry Fairbrother did not want to go out to dinner. He had endured a thumping headache for most of the weekend and was struggling to make a deadline for the local newspaper.
However, his wife had been a little stiff and uncommunicative over lunch, and Barry deduced that his anniversary card had not mitigated the crime of shutting himself away in the study all morning. It did not help that he had been writing about Krystal, whom Mary disliked, although she pretended otherwise.
“Mary, I want to take you out to dinner,” he had lied, to break the frost. “Nineteen years, kids! Nineteen years, and your mother’s never looked lovelier.”
Mary had softened and smiled, so Barry had telephoned the golf club, because it was nearby and they were sure of getting a table. He tried to give his wife pleasure in little ways, because he had come to realize, after nearly two decades together, how often he disappointed her in the big things. It was never intentional. They simply had very different notions of what ought to take up most space in life.”
Are you sufficiently intrigued to read the book? How do you feel about J. K. Rowling’s latest if you’ve already read past this point? (I’ll tell you that just because I received it today doesn’t mean it’s moved up to the top of the stack I have planned to read in October. I’m not saying I don’t respect what J. K. Rowling’s done, but I will say that the children I’ve taught have appreciated her writing far more than I have. So far.)