Ok, so this post has been stewing for a while now, I’ve actually on my 3rd book since reading this one. It’s just taken a little while to really organize my feelings for this book.
Any way, The Casual Vacancy by JKR is about the small town (village really) of Pagford, England and what happens when one of the council member’s suddenly dies. This is really a stunning look into society and how messed up it can be. These people are lairs, cheaters, greedy, drug addicts, and teenagers.
What I liked:
- JKR has a real gift for character development, you love, hate, sympathize, or utterly loathe her characters (Dolores Umbridge anyone? I’m sure I hated her more than Voldemort). I felt exactly the way JKR wanted me to feel for her characters. I loved Andrew (Arf) Price and Krystal Wheedon. I couldn’t stand Howard and his croonies and I pitied Krystal’s mother. All these feelings are exactly what any person would feel, unless of course they were like Howard.
- JKR’s keen observations to social issues are also pretty amazing. She goes through the struggles of the poor and how most middle/upper class people (cough cough rich white men) are trying to shut them out and deprive them of their rights because they are too closed minded to understand why those people are poor. The head honchos of Pagford (Howard and croonies) are trying to oust a clinic to help those in The Fields (the welfare housing complexes) with addiction because they think that The Fields is a stain on their “spotless” reputation.
- This book is very real, there is no doubt that this book COULD be based on reality, I’m sure we wouldn’t have to look very far to find situations like this. And that’s why it bugs me that so many readers dismissed this book because of sex and language…how can this book portray real life situations, how can this book scream it’s message with out sex and language? If you omit these things how can we believe this? How can we relate and take it to heart? What teenager doesn’t swear? What teenager in a broken home with a mother addicted to heroin doesn’t find herself in messed up situations? What wife or mother doesn’t go through a midlife crisis? How can we ignore these things?
- The book was very dark, even hopeless at points, but in the end JKR pulls through and gives us a little ray of light, yes it’s depressing, yes it’s melancholy, but there is hope, there always will be.
- This book really left you thinking…it wasn’t a light and fluffy read (not that there’s any thing wrong with light and fluffy) but it’s not meant to be, it’s meant to leave you thinking.
What I didn’t like:
- It was sad
- Who ever formatted the ebook for nook really messed up…the type was WAY to small…I could barely read it, I wound up downloading the app on my phone so I could read it better.
I really loved this book, and I was really impressed by JKR. It was hard transitioning from Harry Potter to this and it was weird in the beginning reading f-bombs and sex scenes from the woman who wrote JKR, but by the 2nd chapter you’re so engrossed in these characters that you’ve completely forgotten who wrote it and what they’ve written before, and you just don’t care. All you want is to find out what happened next.
❤ The Book Worm