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The Casual Vacancy | J.K Rowling | Review

The Casual Vacancy by J.K Rowling book review on Blogger's Bookshelf
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? - (source)

Now I was really excited to start this book, mainly because of the author and I just wanted to see what her take on a completely different genre of book would turn out like. This is her first book since the whole Harry Potter saga so I think everyone was expecting big things from her. Let me just say it is an adult's book which makes it all the more enjoyable and she really did deliver. 

Now sitting down to read this book and I didn't quite know what to expect, would it be just the same writing style as HP or will it be something completely different? I mean the first chapter someone dies, quite different don't you think? This books features on a variety of different characters and their points of view which I do like in a story. I do like one person narratives but when you have a story like this jam packed with people and their stories you just want to find out more.

This book mainly focuses on three main families and everyone in between who are all fighting to fill this 'Casual Vacancy' - when a local Councillor dies. This book is jam packed with all the normal ways of life, junkies that live on council estates, people that think they are the very best of their town and have to get rid of the scum within and everyone else in-between. The three main families focused on is the Price, Hollison and Wall family who are all involved with the Parish council. We have to feel sorry in some ways for some of the characters, maybe the had a bad upbringing or maybe they despise everything their parents stand for?

I picked this book up purely because of the author (bad I know!) but through reading the book I grew to love it, you get to know all the characters well with all the drama and action going on, it's full of twists and turns and very angry people. Some people say that Rowling based this book on her own experiences and felt that she had to move into the adult genre.

With the main themes of politics, rape, sex and drugs you wouldn't read this to your kids as a bed time story like you would Harry Potter. However despite the slightly negative themes it's a wonderful book full of love and grief and unruly teenagers doing what they do best. I have to give this book an amazing review simply because it is, it's different and unique and about a small village where anything can happen. I really enjoyed this book and I just have to wonderful will J.K delight us with another book sometime soon?

This was post written by regular reviewer Elle, get to know her here
Photo © Elle


  1. Anonymous6:16 pm

    I have this on my kindle but haven't got around to reading it yet - definitely need to! xo

    1. It's good! I hope you enjoy it :) xx

  2. This is one of the first good reviews I've read of this book.. did you instantly like it or did it have to grow on you? I tried reading it and found it so dull and depressing that after about 60 pages I put it down and havent bothered picking it up again x

    1. I see what you mean and I did have to push myself to finish it! It was a rather odd book however I did enjoy it, it's just a 'little different' x

  3. My mum bought this a while back, looks like i will be boring it when i get back for xmas! x

  4. I'm glad to read a positive review about this, I haven't gotten around to read it yet, but I kind of want to like it, I mean it's J.K Rowling and we know she's a brilliant writer even if this is a totally different genre :) thanks for reviewing it!

    1. You're welcome! That's exactly how I felt I do like it in a lot of ways but it is different by a lot too so I'm not sure xx


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