The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling
Her first book after the Harry Potter series, The Casual Vacancy takes place in a small English country town. A city councilman dies, which kicks off a war in the town over his empty seat, and a political struggle the town has argued over for years comes to a heady climax.
It is not a secret that I love the Harry Potter series. I am a huge fan of J.K. Rowling's writing style. She is such a good storyteller. I know many Harry Potter fans did not like her first book post-Potter. I am not one of them. I LOVED it.
There are a ton of characters, and each one lends his or her perspective to the story. There are very few likeable characters in the book, but the fact that so many are despicable is what makes this book so great because it makes the story so real. Like it could actually happen.
Rowling effortlessly moves the narrative among her characters at a quick pace so the story never stagnates which can happen with a book that takes place in a small town.
It's not a feel good story. In fact it's almost Shakespearean in how tragic the story ends. Actually it's not so much an ending as much as it's life moving on. A few characters at the end of the book have hope but most do not.
If you like a story that feels real, if a book does not have to have a happy ending for you to enjoy it, read this book.
Next month - As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
Disclosure: No one paid me in any way, form or fashion for this review.