March 3, 2014 Leave a comment
I read this somewhat sceptically, in fact I put it off for quite a while because I was so sceptical. I grew up reading Harry Potter, from the age of about 10, so the magic was really a part of my childhood. Then, to find that J K Rowling had written a book for adults, about something seemingly so normal – there was just something about that which didn’t sit right with me.
So finally, a little while ago, I walked into a bookshop and picked it up, and I am oh so glad that I did. The casual vacancy is set in a small town in the UK, and is essentially a story of small town life. What struck me though, were the darker undertones of politics and social issues resonating in the story. I have to admit that at first it does take a while to get into the book, and it does take a bit of perseverance. However, once the story gets rolling and you get to know the characters, it is unputdownable.
In the West Country, the small town of Pagford is turned upside down after the death of parish councillor Barry Fairbrother. The book follows the lives of the community as they discover and deal with Barry’s death, including the controversy of filling his spot on the parish council. The Casual vacancy highlights the huge effect that a death can have on a community, and the revelations that come about after a person’s death.
It would be hard to explain what I liked about this books without giving the story away, but I can say that the story of Krystal Weedon and her family is so extremely heartbreaking, and so believable, especially in the UK as it is now, and I did towards the end of the book find myself in tears. This book is as good as Harry Potter, just completely and utterly different. I strongly suggest you give it a read.