December 13

Casual Vacancy

The Casual Vacancy by J.K. RowlingI found this book initially difficult to get into – there were introductions to many characters, and the setting of the village of Pagford, and the adjacent Fields.  However, as I read and became more familiar with characters and setting, I began to appreciate JK Rowling’s writing and the storyline, which basically looks at small town politics and personal interactions, following the sudden death of the admirable Barry Fairbrother, which leaves his position on the parish council vacant.  As relationships are revealed within the small community, and people vie for poor old Barry’s position, the reader receives an insight into the haves and have nots in a small English village.  At times the community is portrayed as classist, racist and bleak.  Reviews I have read claim that this portrayal is innaccurate and “feudal” by today’s standards.  The young characters in this story all ultimately learn life’s lessons the hard way.  Some triumph, others unfortunately don’t.  If you are a JK Rowling fan, don’t expect magic, wonderful feasts, or good always triumphing over evil.  This is definitely a senior fiction read.  There’s also use of expletives.  After an initial struggle, I found this book to be a page turner which I’m glad I read.  Check out my review in Goodreads.

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