The Casual Vacancy, J.K. Rowling. New York: Little, Brown and Company, 2012. e-book, approx 426 pps.
J. K. Rowling has done it again! I thoroughly enjoyed her latest offering. A bit too dark to be classified as chick lit, The Casual Vacancy is a wondrous book about life in the suburbs. It is full of strongly fleshed out characters who resembled people that I know.
The Casual Vacancy was falsely characterized as adult porn when I first heard it discussed in certain circles. I can tell you definitively, this book is not pornographic. To be sure, some of the situations dealt with in the book are of an adult nature.
But J.K Rowling also takes on classism and racism, and she does it with style.
There is a vacancy on the local governing council due to an unexpected death. The implications of this death are far-reaching, much more complex than having to select another public servant. Throughout The Casual Vacancy, I was treated to a study of how various individuals in the town reacted to the news of the death as well as their actions and repercussions. I especially enjoyed the teens in the book. They thought and acted like teens do.
The final chapters were suspenseful. The ending was not what I was expecting at all. I suspect that the ending will stay with me for a very long time.
sapphoq reviews says: The situations described in the book are ones that perhaps some religious folk would not care to read about, (and perhaps some percentage of parents would not want their teens to read about). If you object to fictitious adults sleeping about and to teens engaging in premarital sex even within a well-crafted story, a rape or the presence of a methadone clinic, then you should not read this book.
If you are wanting a book which illustrates classism and racism in a direct manner along with a well-written story, then definitely pick up The Casual Vacancy. It will get you thinking and will give you something to discuss with your more mature teens.