So it’s been a while as life has really decided to make things hard for me, so here I go, today I’ll re reviewing J.K. Rowling’s Post-Potter novel, “The Casual Vacancy.” This is a very hit or miss book that you either understand its point or not. When Parish Councilor Barry Fairbrother dies, he leaves in his wake a town that’s in the verge of a political war between the rich, poor, husbands, wives, students and pupils, and this war is one that shakes up the citizens themselves. There’s nothing wrong with you if this book was not appealing to you so with that said I can say I personally enjoyed this book, having read it when it came out I was thoroughly impressed with this book and what it had to offer me so I really enjoyed it. Also for those in the U.S the casual vacancy TV mini series will be premiering on HBO on April 29th at 8:00-10:00 for its back to back premiere, I thought this review was in order so here we go.
Alright so let me say this first. This book was really enjoyable, it’s realistic tone and detailing on its story telling and it’s dark themes, however in each moment that I got closer to the ending I kept asking myself about this, what is it about one specific character, Krystal Weedon, that continues the story forward for me. She was really the glue that held a lot of the story together and while she had her moments, I saw her as a real person, someone who really had been born into a terrible life with a drugg-addict mother and even less caring relatives (except for Nana Cath). Barry Fairbrother was the man who held the people of Pagford together, he knew what he wanted and had plenty of supporters behind him, many of the other characters who believed in him. However when Barry croaked, I think it is as Keystal who it affected the most. She really cared for him and tried to make the setting right for her. What else I saw was how the other characters really let their frustrations out about their issues with the people they knew. Miles and Samantha Mollison are a married couple going through a rough patch, he buries himself into his work, she fantasizes about leaving him and his parents expect Sammy to have a certain standard to match with their son. Then we have Parminder Jawanda, a tall, skinny Punjab woman who constantly holds her youngest daughter, Shukvinder, up to an expected tradition in her family line. Andrew Price and his abusive dad, Simon, really set the edge over for me, that was one family unit I hated read about. And let’s not even get started on Kay Bawden and her daughter Gaia. So you see there are a dozen character arcs that fill this story. While some of the arcs are bit bland and forced, the ones that I liked, like Krystal, were really though out and I really enjoyed reading about her. I think it’s the fact that I personally grew up in her surroundings so it’s the easiest story arc for me to identify with. The book itself well… The story is somewhat hard to follow and I personally thing that even if some parts of the story don’t make sense I really enjoy it.
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What a problem we have
So on the flip side, here is what I could consider the bad parts of the book, there are some parts that I really think did not move the story forward, like the Kay-Gavin arc for example, Kay leaves London to live in tiny Pagford with her boyfriend, dragging her daughter with her. Kay slowly realizes over time that Gavin was going through her just to get to Mary, Barry’s wife, for he had feelings for her. The death of Barry really messed her up and he thought he could move in on her, but he hadn’t expected Kay to move to his location. I found this arc so boring and did nothing for the story that I found myself skipping when they were together in the book. Well the only other reason Kay was in Pagdord was to play as a plot device for Krystal, her mom Terri, and brother Robbie. Another arc I found a bore, was Miles-Samantha arc. It was just the stereotype husband-wife feud that involves the parents of miles. This part of the book just dragged the conflict to unparalleled issues from Rowling. These characters didn’t really go anywhere until the last hundred pages. But ironically I liked Samantha, she was strong and very powerful in her own way and really I enjoyed her character and I liked the actress the chose to portray her. The basic plot really seemed forced in the beginning but after a short period of reading, if you find this book interesting, you’ll find so many ch more into this book. Like I said some arcs work better than others, however it also comes down to how you, the reader are, and what you find interesting, you may never read this but I hope that to those that do, it will be somewhat inspiring to you.
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so this book is Rowlings first since the Deathly Hallows, and while many people had mixed reviews and thoughts about it this story really hits home for me. As a person who grew up in this life style ( and not by choice) Rowling really captured the story that she wanted to tell. It’s also very impressive that she took a long time to actually think this out and she felt so comfortable with these characters and the tiny town she put them in that I can understand why she was hesitant to publish again. With all the hype of Harry Potter, I can see why this story is the way it is, she stepped so far out of her comfort zone to give us this book and it really shows. I look forward to watched my the mini-series, and her newest story to come.
have a great day everyone.