Title: The Casual Vacancy
Author: J.K. Rowling
Genre: Adult, Realistic Fiction, Drama, Mystery
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
A big novel about a small town…
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?
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.
I started reading this a long time ago, then put it aside because it just wasn’t interesting to me at the time.
I guess sometimes you just need the perfect timing and place to enjoy a book. This sat for so long on my to-read list before I considered reading it again. And I am SO glad I did.
I’m glad I didn’t read this book when it was released. All that hype, all that excitement for the very first book released by JK after Harry Potter? I’d probably have been disappointed.
See, the important thing here – which probably most reviewers have already said – is that you should NOT expect this to be like Harry Potter. At all. Because it isn’t. There is no magic, no spells and mystical creatures and flying motorcycles and such. This is a book about how one man’s death can affect many lives in a small town. It’s about ordinary people.
But it’s an extraordinary book.
It somewhat reminds me of the show Broadchurch. Except Broadchurch deals with the tragic murder of a child. The Casual Vacancy deals with the death of one man, no foul play whatsoever. But oh, how his death influences the lives of so many.
Like Broadchurch (at least, imo), The Casual Vacancy starts out a bit slow. Persevere if you feel like giving up after a few pages..continue reading because the pieces all fall together eventually. Or set aside the book for another time, like I did, and you’ll definitely realize the beauty of this book.
What I’ve gathered from this book is that it’s really amazing how significant each person is in the universe. You may think you’re not really anyone important, that no one would ever miss you if you disappear. But this book can prove you wrong. We’re all connected, in one way or another, whether in a good or bad way.