Monday, January 23, 2017

A Casual Vacancy

I was pleasantly surprised.
I hadn't thought to be, because this novel didn't get the kind of praise that she got with the Harry Potter franchise, but I was pleasantly surprised.

I really did like the style of this novel. Many characters who revolve around a common subject. Snippets of each daily life was far more interesting than if she had chosen to follow just one path. Each had a very clear set of ideas which made them feel very alive.

A Casual Vacancy starts out with the death of Barry Fairbrother, a member of the Pagford Council.
Pagford is a small town, overshadowed by its neighbouring town Yarvil, but set to have its own opinion.
With the death of Barry there's an empty spot in the council, which sparks a fearless rat race in which many casualties fall.

What I liked most was the story of the historic town of Pagford, with its old abbey and cobblestone streets, set against the harsh environment of the Fields, a social housing project slowly delibitating into decay, where drug use and prostitution isn't uncommon.
It's the council's greatest fued: will they continue to rent property to a addiction clinic or not.

But it's not a black and white matter. Rowling is able to paint this picture closer to home, to make you care about what happens to the ones who rely upon that clinic. As opinions are given and sides are chosen, life continues to inspire, ignite and swallow them whole.

I teared up a little in the end, which was fairly sappy, but by then I had invested so much in these characters, that I didn't mind that the ending didn't quite hold up its own against the rest of the novel.
But it was  a definite tear jerker.