The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I understand this isn’t my kind of book. I only bought it because it was from JK Rowling, and only finished it for pretty much the same reason.
The first part felt awfully long and sluggish, as we’re presented with a huge cast of characters at the same time, all with their own peculiar families and problems and goals, and each of them is given screen time. The POV switches so quickly -often without even a paragraph break- that it was only by the end of the book that I really wrapped my mind around who was who by name rather by picking it up from context.
It doesn’t also help that most of the cast is unlikeable, a petty, squabbling mess of liars, hypocrites, and failures. They’re supposed to be normal small-town people, equal parts strengths and weaknesses, but the weaknesses come off much stronger, almost overbearing.
People get changed in this book, but rarely for the better.