Casual Vacancy

J K Rowling

It has been a month since I finished this little number and it travels with me everywhere. Not as you’d suspect in its Hardback, Paperback or Kindle edition format, rather it’s the characters that Ms Rowling kindly introduced me to.  I see them on the bus; offering up their free time to keep the voluntary sector going; laughing loudly, in packs outside Tesco; and walking the corridors of the hospital. In fact, I used to live in small rural village where the Parish Plan was vital to our community’s identity and position in the wider picture of the County Council’s future planning and development, so this story speaks to me.

Additionally, this story spoke to my husband and son…I did the communicating. For we had elected to cart it around on our recent travels. It was meant to be a book at bedtime. Instead it became our main reason for waking. I can still hear ‘Chapter, Chapter, Chapter’ being chanted every time I dared to suggest we go out and sightsee. I’d read a Chapter before teeth-brushing. I’d read a Chapter before breakfast. I’d read a Chapter after breakfast. People beside the pool heard and had a Chapter… Pretty much every transit lounge we had the pleasure of spending time in, received a Chapter.  And as with the nature of the story and characters, we all had our favourite bits. My 12 year old’s mustn’t miss bits, open my ears wider, focussed on the fabulously developed Krystal Weedon and my passions were very much concentrated on Samantha Mollison – a fine specimen of womankind.

Though note – it is not just these two personalities that make the tale so absorbing – it’s the relationships explored; it’s the unspoken; it’s the misunderstood; it’s your desire to know what Maureen will wear next;  and it’s the gravity of the role of the Parish Councillor.

J K Rowling, I thought you were pretty incredible before, now you have risen to living legend status.  I mean to be able to write so heterogeneously, giving the world Harry and then giving us terrifically essential normal life fiction, which is comedy at its blackest.  I haven’t told enough people to read it – I will.

Personally and very much including the family on this one – this read was an unanimous two thumbs up.

And it gets even better…for apparently the BBC is planning to dramatize it for the smaller screen audience, due for delivery 2014. Hoorah!!!