Here is the summary of the book:
A BIG NOVEL ABOUT A SMALL TOWN ...
When Barry Fairbrother dies in his early forties, the town of Pagford is left in shock.
Pagford is, seemingly, an English idyll, with a cobbled market square and an ancient abbey, but what lies behind the pretty façade is a town at war.
Rich at war with poor, teenagers at war with their parents, wives at war with their husbands, teachers at war with their pupils ... Pagford is not what it first seems.
And the empty seat left by Barry on the parish council soon becomes the catalyst for the biggest war the town has yet seen. Who will triumph in an election fraught with passion, duplicity and unexpected revelations?
This was actually a birthday gift last year but only now was I able to read and review it. Aside from it being written by J.K. Rowling and it being of adult genre but this book also marks her departure from the children's fantasy genre and the magical land of the Harry Potter books. After Harry Potter's fantasy, The Casual Vacancy comes as a strong reminder of reality.
Centered around the English town of Pagford, the events of the death of Parish Councillor and a much loved member of Pagford community, Barry Fairbrother. Whereby creating a casual vacancy on the council. Not only is the whole of Pagford shaken by Barry's death, but his seat has become the much sought after commodity. Sparking all sorts of calamity in the small town, lies, deceit, gambling, and all sorts of shoddy business as they all fight to the death for one single and powerful seat.
A lot of people have decked this book with negative reviews. Well I must tell you, The Casual Vacancy is definitely in no ways exaggerated, slow or boring or even a waste of time. I admit it took me a bit of time to finish it but...... it was an enlightening experience...... If you are going to read it with Harry Potter and its magical premise in mind..... then change your mindset because this book has no magical bone at all.
What this book teaches is? Reality. Us humans are no perfect creatures, we make mistakes, and we learn from them or keep making them again and again.... but something that is constant among is, we pretend. We pretend everyday something that we are not. A smoke screen hiding our true selves, to face the society like that..... Almost every character in the book pretends to be something they are not - Fats, Gavin, Sam, Cubby, Shirley, Miles, Howard, Kay and every other character in this giant book.
Calling this book a waste is like saying Rowling is not deserving of her own mettle. There is bit of reality in this. Its emotional, thought provoking and a heavy multiple character journey converging on the events after Barry's death. I totally had no problem with this...... Rowling has proved her mettle with this, give her children's or adult's and we will have he story for the ages...... Just remember folks - this is not Harry Potter.... this is real life.
"Rich with the painstakingly obvious human reality, J.K.'s first venture in this genre has us awestruck at the sheer brilliance and simplicity of The Casual Vacancy"