The Casual Vacancy by J K Rowling
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 façade 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?
The Casual Vacancy by J K Rowling is a book that makes you work for the payoff. Through the first half of the book I was bored out of my mind but it’s freaking J K Rowling. I was waiting and waiting for things to get better. While the story line never really got better per se, my interest spiked immensely. The Casual Vacancy is a very serious book. It will make you think. It is so much more than a small town drama fiction novel. It’s publication in the US couldn’t have been more well timed. We face in a few weeks a big decision politically. The politics in The Casual Vacancy were centered around a low income development and the addiction clinic in a neighborhood between two small English towns.
The book is so much more than that. It isn’t boiled down to just politics. Rowling covers so much in her new novel that it’s almost enough to make your head spin. I do have to say that I’m happy to have checked the book out from our local library. I don’t know that it will be a book that I can ever read again but it is most assuredly a book I will be thinking about for years to come. If you decide to read this, you will need to invest some time because the first half of it is almost mind numbing with the tedium but the second half will blow you away.
I didn’t want to bring up Harry Potter because this is so clearly not in the same genre, but Rowling’s writing style shined through. The woman can write an ending. She brought every together so well at the end that she could have been concluding a great symphony. It was a beautiful, heart wrenching stroke of brilliance that you come to expect from J K Rowling.