Little, Brown -- the book's publisher -- is describing the book as "blackly comic, thought-provoking and constantly surprising," which sounds awesome.
Rowling's books were a huge part of my childhood, and one of the things I liked best about the Harry Potter books is that their content and subject matter grew up with me. It wouldn't be hard to argue that Rowling is responsible in substantial part for my love of reading today, and I'm thrilled about this book because now that I'm 23 years old and into literary fiction, she's releasing something targeted in the direction of my age group.
The synopsis, which I've seen on a few sites linking back to the above-linked page on the Bookseller (which doesn't appear to contain that synopsis) sounds like it deals with a lot of the relationship struggles between fundamentally separate but intertwined groups that pervade every aspect of human civilization as we know it. It makes me even more eager to read the book than the name at the top of the cover, and here it is via Mugglenet:
When Barry Fairbrother dies in his early forties, the 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 facade 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?
A big novel about a small town, The Casual Vacancy is J. K. Rowling’s first novel for adults. It is the work of a storyteller like no other.
Oh, and her name is smaller than the title of the book. That's always a selling point when it comes to big-name authors, as far as I'm concerned.