The Casual Vacancy – Review

The Casual Vacancy by J. K. Rowling is a book about a small town and the people living there. The story revolves around the election for the local Parish council, and how the lives of everybody in the town are somehow affected by this event.

Initially, the book might seem overwhelming with its large number of characters. But as you get to know the Mollisons, the Walls, the Prices, the Weedons, the Jawandas and the other families, you connect with each of them. It is amazing how the plot is so intricately woven, that everything in the story, every character, every event fit together perfectly like a jigsaw puzzle. It is so amazing that some small event quoted in the beginning could turn out to be of huge importance in the end. J. K. Rowling is known to be the master of subplots (which her seven amazing Harry Potter books have shown us), and she has proven herself yet again. She gives each character a life of their own, and they can go on existing independent of the book. The book has everything ranging from an affair, a broken relationship, parental love, drug abuse, friendship, death, and a party even, and all this completes the book nicely.

Pagford is a typical English town, and Rowling has portrayed it wonderfully. The bickering of old ladies, the hypocrisy of the rich, the self-doubt felt by teenagers, and the squabbles between parents and children make everything seem real. It is fun to read how everybody knows everybody and gossips spread like wildfire in a place as small as Pagford.

It is an un-put-downable book. The end is sad, though. One of the main characters Krystal Weedon, and her three-year old brother Robbie, die in the end, and the last seen is their funeral. The way Rowling has described everything doesn’t leave you feeling good or positive. Krystal and Robbie’s deaths come as a personal blow to the reader. But still, there is something that the reader can take away. The ghastly end causes a change for good in the lives of Stuart Wall, Andrew Price, Gaia Bawden and Sukhwinder Jawanda. It is said that sometimes it takes one wrong to set everything else right, and that is the thought the book leaves you with.

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