A review: The Casual Vacancy

I decided to ask Santa for J.K. Rowling’s latest novel ‘The Casual Vacancy’ but it wasn’t in any of the gifts under the tree, so I bought it for myself.
I just finished reading it last night while the family watched The Lion King.

First of all I feel that it’s important to state that this is not a kids book! (Apparently there were some unhappy parents out there who had failed to pay attention to this fact. See reviews on Amazon.)
‘The Casual Vacancy’ is J.K’s first novel for adults – it says so on the inside flap of the jacket – and it contains bad language and some adult themes (sex and drugs, but no rock and roll.)
Set in the quiet little English country town of Pagford, this novel follows the lives of some of Pagford’s citizens as they interact with each other following the death of Barry Fairbrother – banker and member of the parish council.
The void left by Mr. Fairbrother’s death is felt throughout the community, in different ways and for different reasons, and soon the people of Pagford find themselves set against each other.
His position on the council is up for grabs, and his side of an old argument is now missing it’s best fighter.
Lines are drawn, alliances made and broken, secrets exposed.

The Casual Vacancy is an intriguing tale of life in a small town, where everyone knows each other and if you’ve ever lived in a small town you will definitely understand it.

I enjoyed reading this novel, the characters are real, sometimes disarmingly so. The twists and turns of the story keep things moving along, and the pages turning – I would recommend this book to a friend with the phrase ‘it’s quite good’ but would I have picked it up in the first place had it not been written by J.K.?
No, I don’t think I would.

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