This Blog is Dedicated to our dear friend Karen.
When she left this life she left a hole in our hearts as well as several to be read books.
We, her friends, will read these books for her.
This blog will be a sort of book club for us to post our thoughts and feelings about the stories and feelings we have of Karen while we read.
Sunday, May 17, 2015
#107 The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling
This is not a Harry Potter book. In fact, the author (and publisher) went to great pains, when the book came out, to make sure everyone knew it was not a Harry Potter book. This is a book for grown-ups, they stressed. And yet.
And yet, when the book was released, parents were buying it for their children, and children were reading it, and they were seeing things about sex, and drugs, and cuss words, and mental and physical abuse. And there was much weeping and gnashing of teeth.
(And I think Rowling put things like that right up front, so we could see that this was a book for grown-ups. And so we could see that she was not just a writer of children's books, but a grown-up author, able to handle grown-up themes.)
I really enjoyed the book. I liked the small English village setting, even though I didn't like some of the small(minded) villagers, so afraid of change and "progress".
In most of the reviews I've read, the main complaints about this book were the size of it (over 600 pages) and the large number of characters. Rowling spends over 200 pages (the first third of the book) introducing characters and laying the groundwork for the rest of the story. But this level of character and story development pays off at the climax of the book, and at the end when we see how these climactic events affect all the different characters.