Book review: The Casual Vacancy, J.K. Rowling

1 vote, average: 3.00 out of 51 vote, average: 3.00 out of 51 vote, average: 3.00 out of 51 vote, average: 3.00 out of 51 vote, average: 3.00 out of 5 (1 votes, average: 3.00 out of 5, rated)

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“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.”

Published by For Little Brown Book Group, 27th September 2012

RRP £20.00 (Hardback)

Reviewer: Stacey, Watford

I have never read any of the Harry Potter books, but was keen to give J.K. Rowlings new ‘adult’ book a go.  I struggled with the book to begin with, finding the main characters difficult to connect with.  I had no idea where the story was going, and I couldn’t find any like able qualities in any of the families or characters.  This changed about a third of the way through, the characters really came alive and I started to like and care about some of them!  I  couldn’t wait for a quiet opportunity to sit and read, and see what they were all up to!

The book begins with the sudden death of a 40+ year old family man, who is on the local council trying his best to make a difference in a small town, that is pretty set in its ways.  One by one, each persons story and connection to the deceased is revealed.

The book stayed with me during and long after I had finished reading it.  The book engages ‘all walks of life’, and to be honest neither end of the social scale comes out on top!

I definitely expected and hoped for a different and happier conclusion to the book!!

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