08 November 2013

The Casual Vacancy

At our last meeting, Wednesday 6th November, we discussed The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling. This is Rowlings first novel for adults after some series about some boy wizard or something (sarcasm) and seemed to go down quite well with the group.

Firstly a synopsis of the book... When Barry Fairbrother dies in his early forties, the town of Pagford is left in shock. Pagford is, seemingly, an English idyll, with a cobbled market square and an ancient abbey, but what lies behind the pretty facade is a town at war. Rich at war with poor, teenagers at war with their parents, wives at war with their husbands, teachers at war with their pupils... Pagford is not what it first seems. And the empty seat left by Barry on the parish council soon becomes the catalyst for the biggest war the town has yet seen. Who will triumph in an election fraught with passion, duplicity and unexpected revelations?

Its a big novel about a small town.

A few of us, myself included, hadn't quite managed to the end of the book in time finding it to be quite a difficult read.  The language is quite raw and some of the subjects covered quite controversial.  There are a lot of characters to keep track of but they are very well drawn and the short chapters make this easy to do.  We also felt it had a lot of similarities to Builth, or any small down, so often you were assigning people you already knew to the characters in the story.

There are two different covers available for the book this one...

Which we felt highlighted the uncomfortable nature of the story with its bright red and yellow cover, and this one...

Which although was a prettier cover we agreed it doesn't really convey the content very well.

Those that did finish the book said they really enjoyed it and some couldn't put it down.  It was described as a book that makes you think  after  you have finished it...so I better get reading!

Our read for this month and to be discussed at our December meeting is The Lost Duchess by Jenny Barden.  We're very lucky that Jenny is coming along to our meeting in December to discuss the book with us and the publisher has given us several copies for the group to help with our review.

The December meeting is a social one, with food and drink and more jovality than usual so if you're new and would like to come along this is a great one to attend.  So we will see you Wednesday 4th December at 7pm Builth Wells Library, High St, Builth.

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