The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I'm not quite sure what I expected from Rowling's first novel for adults, but this was not it. I am torn in my opinion of it as there were things I liked but overall its not a book I enjoyed reading. It is certainly not a book for everyone. And its not one that I will ever read over again. But, it is one that will probably stay with me forever. They say that art imitates life, and in this case it definitely does. But not the beatiful day at the beach picture, but the ugly side of humanity.
The book begins with the death of Barry Fairbrother, the main character. Even though he is deceased he plays a main part throughout the book. His life touched so many that even after he has passed his legacy lives on. Fairbrother occupied a seat on the council and with his death creates a casual vacancy. There is a scramble where each side tries to fill his seat and in the process all of their dirty laundry is aired. Pagford is filled with characters from all areas of life from the wealthy to the poor and drug addicted. And all the teens seem to be troubled.
The characters all seemed to be so real. Not just one or two of the main characters, but all of them were so well developed that you felt as though you were seeing through their eyes. However, the overall story seemed to have no point. We saw life in a small town where everyone has problems. I can see that in the small town that I live in. If you are looking for a happy ending, look elsewhere. It doesn't really end anywar, the story just seems to stop.
Overall, I liked it, sort of. It was well written, the characters were very real. But its not something that just grabs you and won't let you go. It worms its way in and haunts you when its over. I can't recommend this to anyone looking for an easy fun read. Its difficult to get into this book. I am glad that I read it, but there will be no re-reading this one.
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