The Casual Vacancy
I devoured this book, in a matter of hours. This is true of all of Rowling’s work though, I have reread the Harry Potter books numerous times, and each time find different things to enjoy about them. I was curious to see how she carried over her enviable talent into writing for adults alone, and was relieved that she was even more adept in her sketch of character, and mastery of plot.
The plot of The Casual Vacancy revolves around a small town called Pagford, one of the councillors, Barry Fairbrother passes away very soon into the novel, and it impacts all of the other characters in a variety of ways. His seat is obviously vacant, the casual vacancy of the title, and three townspeople throw their hat into the ring.
I wasn’t overly interested in the political issues, but the myriad of different characters, who all had varied issues, and quirks were all fascinating. Howard Mollinson, a obese man who possesses incredible appetites both for food and other hungers, battles against those on the council he sees looking after ‘feral’ members of the Fields, as well as his daughter in law, Samantha, a owner of a lingerie shop.
I found the emotional core of the book to be the relationship between Barry Fairbrother and those he cared about in life, namely his wife Mary and one of the pupils, Krystal Weedon.
It isn’t a plot rich book, rather focusing on the day to day life that can occur in British small towns, but is a incredible work nevertheless.