I had a difficult time getting started on this as, at first, I couldn't reconcile the woman who wrote Harry Potter with the casual mentions of sex, drugs, and violence. It took me until I was nearly halfway through to really become invested in the characters and the story. I kept reading because it is a well-written book and because I could tell that the story really was going to go somewhere. That said, J.K. Rowling has shown that she is A Writer and not simply a one-hit wonder children's author. The book does seem to start rather slow with the introduction of so many characters I had trouble keeping them straight even to the end. The ending is a bit predictable, but the road Rowling takes you to get there leads you through a town full of surprises, internal struggles, and blow-ups that make the papers. I recommend it if for no other reason than finding out that Rowling has much more in her than witches and wizards.