Best of: books for ages 18+ #5: ‘The Casual Vacancy’ by J K Rowling
Published in 2012, this huge novel was much anticipated, mainly due to the author’s fame. Slated and praised in approximately measures by the English papers and tabloids, one thing was certain: there weren’t many comparisons to be drawn with the children’s books about the young wizard.
Set in a small town in the West Country, the novel focuses on the minute details of characters’ lives, and the corruption and evil that can brew in the most innocuous of circumstances. Featuring a wide range of personalities, what is clear is that very few are positive portrayals. Upper class and lower class alike are slated, and, apart from the cast of teenagers, nobody gets off lightly.
The novel is at once an intense social commentary and a drama-thriller. We are given jigsaw pieces to put together, until a complete picture of the town evolves. Themes include class, race, money, socialism, drugs, sex, ethics and altruism – it’s by no means light reading. It is, however, an incredible, fast-paced rollercoaster, which will impress you with the wit and make you sob unbearably at the climax. Enjoy.
By the same author: The incredibly popular ‘Harry Potter’ series, and crime thrillers staring Cormoran Strike under the pseudonym ‘Robert Galbraith’.