Reach & Read: Casual Vacancy

Casual Vacancy By JK Rowling – A book review

So, I might just be the only person able to comment on this book without comparing it to the Harry Potter series. Why? I have never read any of the books, nor seen the films. My only experience with Harry is riding the ride at Universal in Orlando (peer pressure and free park pass). No Potter baggage here! Casual Vacancy is an adult book in the category, tragicomedy, of which I have never heard of but fits it perfectly (would also put the Death of Bees in this category too-now that I know about it). The book’s chain of events could take place in any small town on the globe, but occurs in suburban Pagford England. Following the death of a revered and loved city councilman, Fairbrother, the town of Pagford really begins to unravel with each of the character past and present rearing their ugly heads. Although, the one character whose full backstory is missing is Mr. Fairbrother, which makes you wonder as everyone else’s dirty laundry is aired, what other secrets he held. His wife reveals some failings initially, but this is overshadowed by his reputation. It is really a sad, dark book about broken families, heroine, cutting and bullying, abuse, infidelity, gluttony yada yada yada. There are a total of thirty four characters, some more developed than others, all revealing entangled in the Pagford web. That does make it a slower read as you have to keep track of names and backstories. I did find a great list of all of them here on The Telegraph. My favorite character is Parminder Jawanda; most redeemed character Fats Walls. I read the whole thinking hoping for some redemption or a silver lining, and I am not about to spoil the book. I promise you will enjoy this well written book. It will certainly expand your vocabulary (best word learned – a·man·u·en·sis) and you can work on your inner English accent as the written words reflect the dialect.

Good news for those of you who don’t like to read, the BBC is planning a TV adaptation this year. No due date yet though.



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