Hello everyone! I am back with a book review this time. Trust me this is the longest I have taken to finish a mere 500 page book. I didn’t know college could wear one out to such an extent…
Book: The Casual Vacancy
Author: J.K. Rowling
The magical story teller of our childhoods, once again weaves magic with her captivating use of words and accomplished art of story telling. As we begin reading the novel we come across a Parish councillor, too caught up in fulfilling his responsibilities towards the society and his family, ultimately ignoring to take care of his own self. As he fiddles to escape this whirlwind, a catastrophe strikes and he is announced to be deceased on his nineteenth anniversary. Leaving behind the town to turn into a battlefield, fighting for his now vacant position….
Exactly a year ago, I had seen this book at a book fair and seeing a familiar name, I added it to my cart. Like every Potterhead I used to associate J.K. Rowling with Harry Potter never considering the possibility of her writing novels for adult readers as well. So naturally I was a little hesitant before reading this novel and I am so glad to be proven right! J.K. ,Rowling ( see what I did there😉) and I couldn’t be prouder. She is a terrific writer who can execute any style of writing for all categories of readers. If anyone is looking for a semi-political fiction, this is the perfect book for you guys.
The plot and the story gel perfectly with dashes of reality that sometimes it becomes diffiult to believe it is fragment of the author’s fictional imagination. The plot is tightly weaved around one central theme (politics) incorporating many themes like adolescent misdemeanors, empathy, social identity crisis, imprudent pretence, deceit, adultery, responsibility, never for once, letting us stray from the key idea. It is nearly impossible to search for plotholes in the entire narrative.
Talking about the characters and narrative, this book comes as a refreshing break from the contemporary novels offering multi-purpose narratives and only focusses on a third person perspective narrative. It spirals back and forth between past and present, revealing the hidden shades of each character after being affected by the death of their beloved Parish councillor.
There are only a few novels which delve deeply into human beings and their varied emotions. There are even less novels which bring the two together and create a literary symphony from them. Rowling’s The Casual Vacancy is one such novel. Each aspect of human emotions is reflected by one or the other character, united by one luring goal, power; politcal power,power of freedom, power of acceptance and power of love.
Each scene is chiselled with such perfection that it seems like reality swirling in front of your eyes. One of my favourite scenes is where a father-son duo finally bond after years of bickering and misunderstanding(I’ll give you a hint, their last name is Walls).
I would say this book defines perfection. It’s ending although isn’t happy for all characters(as mirrored in real life) is one impactful ending, which hits you deep inside and won’t let you forget, how one incident, one decision can change your life forever.
I would give this book:
Writing style: 5 stars
Plot: 5 stars
Character sketch and description: 5 stars
Narrative: 5 stars
Relevance to reality: 5 stars
So, this book stands at 5 stars for me. It’s a complete package of everything you need in a book!
Reasons for choosing this book:
1) It is a thick and interesting book, which can be a perfect read for the holidays.
2) It infuses the attention grasping concepts of power and emotions at work during the rise of a political figure. As far as I know only, biographies and autobiographies reach up to such level.
3) Provides some literary creative writing to be savoured by the readers ( No spoilers here!)
4) The book is exactly as you do not expect it to be and leaves a lasting impression on you mind.
Until the next time,