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BookBrowse Reviews The Casual Vacancy by J.K. (Joanne) Rowling

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The Casual Vacancy

by J.K. (Joanne) Rowling

The Casual Vacancy
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  • First Published:
    Sep 2012, 512 pages
    Paperback:
    Jul 2013, 512 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Poornima Apte

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The Casual Vacancy, J.K. Rowling's first foray into fiction for adults, centers on a decaying subsidized housing unit called The Fields. When a town councilman dies and his seat is left vacant, a seemingly idyllic town shows its true colors.

The Casual Vacancy, J.K. Rowling's first foray into fiction for grownups, is nothing if not timely. The story feels especially relevant in a debate about the role of government – one that seems to occupy much of the social consciousness these days. Central to the argument in this novel is a decaying subsidized housing unit, The Fields. Because of various zoning laws, The Fields is yoked to the rich and idyllic English town of Pagford even though most of the town's residents believe it should be a part of the big, neighboring city, Yarvil. Most of Pagford's citizens are convinced it is not their responsibility to subsidize welfare benefits for the junkies and drug addicts who reside in The Fields. Pagford doesn't want Fields' kids in their schools, nor do the town's morally upright citizens want to keep paying for a drug rehabilitation clinic that only Fields' residents seem to use. ...

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