If you’re like me, you saw the name J.K. Rowling and said “More Harry Potter?!” Nope, (we’ll both have to wait for the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them movie in 2016), but it’s almost as good. The Casual Vacancy is written for an adult audience and focuses on people and personal connections rather than magic.
The Casual Vacancy follows the lives of the people in the small town of Pagford after Barry Fairbrother, member of the city council, dies. During the race to replace his seat, secrets start to appear online about the candidates from someone who claims to be the Barry’s ghost. Though the first secret is posted by one of the teenagers in town, the online persona quickly begins to take on a life of its own.
One of the things that’s interesting about this story and keeps it from slipping into soap opera-esq drama is that the story isn’t told from one person’s point of view—it’s told from everyone’s point of view. The point of view character switches at the beginning of each new chapter, which keeps the story moving at a brisk pace. Not all the characters are likable, but they are realistic, and the opportunity to see the motives behind the behaviors contrasted with how other characters see them is intriguing. The varied perspectives makes for an interesting story about how people relate to one another, and whether they can repair the town’s sense of community after everything that’s revealed during the race.
Check this book out from the leisure reading section of the library on the first floor!