The Casual Vacancy by: J.K. Rowling
Publisher: Little Brown and Company
Genre: General Fiction
Summary: This novel is about a small town named Pagford, in England. A member of the parish council, Barry Fairbrother, dies and leaves a casual vacancy. The residents of Pagford now are trying to figure out who will take his seat, and it is all political. This small town might seem cute and quaint but the residents are anything but.
Review: This is nothing like Harry Potter. There is no magic. If you are looking for a book like that then you will be very disappointed. On the other hand, if you are looking for a dark and somewhat depressing novel then you are in luck. It is very well written, but it wasn’t everything I had hoped for from this critically acclaimed author.
I’m going to come right out and say it. At times this book was a little slow. I felt like the beginning of the novel, where Rowling builds up the background information on the characters, takes way to long. This may be because she focuses on a lot of different characters, but in the end I grew bored at times. It took a lot for me to really get into the novel at first. Once I finally started actually finding the characters interesting it was easier for me to want to actually pick up the book and read it instead of having to force myself to read it.
The characters in this novel are all interesting and they all have some dark secret or problem in their lives. If you are faint at heart then don’t read this novel. It has teenage sex, abuse, and much more. It can be pretty graphic at times. Sometimes it was hard to relate to the characters because they were all so messed up. At other times I was so involved in their lives that I was either cheering them on or hoping for their demise.
When this book finally started to grab my attention I would have to say that I enjoyed uncovering the secrets that are deeply hidden in Pagford. Some of them where painfully obvious, but some of them were surprising and made me cringe.
People that are not Harry Potter fans will enjoy this novel and some that are Harry Potter fans may not. I don’t regret reading this book. Like I said before, it was very well written and had some good characters and plot twists. So I suggest that you give this book a try either way. Just be prepared for a somewhat messed up and depressing town of people and their stories.