I just finished reading A Casual Vacancy by J. K. Rowling. I had no expectations going in, as I was so anxious to read another of her books that I didn’t even read the description. I knew I was in for more of her brilliant magic. I wasn’t disappointed. No dragons, witches, wizards, or villains with unspeakable names this time. This was her proving grounds. It reinforced my decision to favor her writing over Charles Dickens. I dove right in, and forgot Harry Potter existed while I read. It moved at a nice pace, as this new world grew, and became colorful and detailed. If I was going to be a writer, I’d study this book intensely. It makes me want to know what J. K. Rowling enjoys reading.
It’s an adult novel. It’s going to become a classic. It’s incredibly layered. I’m not ashamed to admit that for me to get as much as I can from the story, I’ll need to reread it a few times. It’s worthy of being studied. It reminds me of Mary Poppins’ bag. It looks like any other bag from the outside, but when she reaches in and pulls out a tall hat stand, you totally want to look inside and see what other unexpected wonders it holds. I’m greatly impressed by this authors talent. It’s been a long time since I felt awed by a book. Part of me wants to dive back in and start over. I’m impatient, and I know I missed things. But I need time to think about all the characters, and the things that happened.