As a huge Harry Potter fan let me just say how proud I am of J.K. Rowling for proving that she is such a talented and versatile author with this book.
While the story and intended audience are about as far from the world of Potter as you can get, J.K.'s voice is so present here. Yes, it's a big book, but it reads just as quickly and easily as the largest Potter works did.
This must be my year for books about relationships, because this is another work that, through brutal honesty (or is that cynicism?), addresses the multi-tiered and overlapped relationships and politics in a small British town. A lot of the ugliness of life is addressed and it is done with a dash of wit that keeps the book from being outright depressing a times.
This really is a great book and I would invite everyone to drop any assumptions or preconceptions they may have about it and give it a try. You'll end up liking the change, I promise.