The Casual Vacancy

by J. K. Rowling | Other | This book has not been rated.
ISBN: 0316228591 Global Overview for this book
Registered by wingResQgeekwing of Alexandria, Virginia USA on 9/24/2018
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2 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by wingResQgeekwing from Alexandria, Virginia USA on Monday, September 24, 2018
The only Rowling books I've ever read were the Harry Potter books, so I've been curious about her other work. I saw this in a local Little Free Library, so I took it home to read.

This book has a sticker on the front cover from the Mark Twain Library (motto: Books Are Just the Beginning...) that says "Please pass this book on!"

Journal Entry 2 by wingResQgeekwing at Alexandria, Virginia USA on Tuesday, February 26, 2019
The little town of Pagford is thrown into turmoil when council member Barry Fairbrother dies unexpectedly. The town has a long history of conflict with the neighboring community of Yarvil, and Barry was the unofficial leader of one side of the debate about how to deal with these issues. The sudden vacancy on the council threatens to upset the balance of power on the council. But his death also sends ripples through the social fabric of the community as well, with impacts, both small and large, felt by widely diverse residents.

This book provided me with a glimpse into the local politics of England, as area I knew little about before I picked this up. While the formal structure is different from what I'm familiar with, the politics itself is all to familiar. Change the names and locations, and many of these arguments sound almost identical to those that took place in my rural hometown in Upstate New York. Apparently, local politics is virtually the same everywhere.

This is largely a character driven story, and there are plenty of characters. In fact, the large cast of characters made it a bit confusing at first, as I tried to remember who everyone was and what their relationships were. But eventually, I got it figured out, and from there it was fascinating the varied points of view of these diverse characters. And that is one of the strengths of this book is the vast range of viewpoints that we get to experience. We get inside the heads of almost every major character to see their point of view (some of which are entirely mean spirited, while others have good intentions that aren't fully realized because of anxieties or other concerns), while showing us how each of these characters interprets and understands the actions and behavior of the others. In this vast canvas of perspectives is a lesson in the importance of empathy and the need to recognize that our understanding of others is necessarily limited and biased.

While I'm not sure that I can fairly call this book enjoyable, I did find it compelling. It is well written and provides plenty of food for thought.

Released 2 yrs ago (3/3/2019 UTC) at Little Free Library #29843 - Erin's Legacy (Clermont Woods) in Alexandria, Virginia USA


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