Firstly I would like to retract my earlier statement about this book. When I reviewed The Cuckoo’s Calling I said that I had started to read this but couldn’t get into it. Although this was true, this is now no longer the case.

The Casual Vacancy was bought for me – on my request, for my birthday – when it was first released. I read the first couple of pages but just couldn’t get into it and didn’t feel hooked, so, I gave up. I put it in my bedside drawer and forgot about it.

After finishing my review for The Cuckoo’s Calling, I then needed to start a new book. I decided to try a bit of non-fiction with ‘Work Less, Achieve More’ by Fergus O’Connell but found after a few days of it initially being something quite interesting and do-able – it turned into something that was actually making me depressed. Literally. My mood was spiralling down and it was only since I had begun reading that book – so I had to abandon it for my own sanity.

I needed another book to read. Out of sheer laziness at the time – I was in bed and couldn’t be bothered to get out of bed to go into the spare room (this is where my books live) to choose a new book, I remembered that I had put J.K.Rowling’s The Casual Vacancy in my bedside drawer and thought I would give it another go.

My god it’s like Eastenders in book form! However, it’s set in the countryside not the East End of London. So technically it should be like Emmerdale, but that comparison doesn’t feel right. Nope, I’m sticking with Eastenders.

We follow the residents of Pagford in their everyday lives after the death of one of the town’s most loved and loathed local Parish Councillor.

The story is centred around the parish council and its members, as they look to fill the vacant seat. But who should fill that seat is overshadowed by the remaining members’ indecision to stay connected with a local council housing estate “The Fields”. Whoever takes the seat is either a vote for or against the alliance.

Those in the running are soon confronted by the dirty secrets they wished to conceal from the world and it’s not long before the whole town is in confusion as other residents’ skeletons begin to rear their ugly heads.

You’ll find some politics thrown in too in this read, but don’t let the thought of that put you off. I found this book (once I’d given it a proper go) easy to read and it quickly sucked me right into that little village of Pagford. There’s lots of characters to get to know so scenes jump from one place to another but it was easy to follow along and catch up with their stories again.

If, like me, you’d started The Casual Vacancy once before but gave up – give it another go. It’s a great read, full to the brim with scandal!


Next up is another non-fiction book, ‘The Elements of Eloquence: How to Turn the Perfect English Phrase’ by Mark Forsyth. I have a much better feeling about this non-fiction attempt than the last!

Have you read The Casual Vacancy or even The Elements of Eloquence? What did you think?


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