To begin with, let me explain that this isn't a proper review as I haven't actually finished the book yet. I will post a follow up when I'm finally finished and can give the book, in it's entirety, a fair shake.
The Casual Vacancy by J. K. Rowling is testing my belief that one should never give up on a book. My theory is that you can't honestly say that you love or hate a book until you have the complete 'vision' of what the author was trying to convey. Based on this, I can only think of one or two books that I have given up on, and even then I eventually gave one of them another chance and I was glad I did (Life of Pi!). However, The Casual Vacancy has been an absolute chore to read. There are way too many characters and much too much time spent setting up the premise for me to care about what happens next. I find myself scrambling mentally to figure out who this character is again, as the focus changes with every chapter, and how they relate to the other characters before I put the book down again. Perhaps it would flow better if I would read a few chapters at a time but I already have to force myself to get through a few pages every night before my eyes burn from the need to sleep. I am dragging my heels with this one. I feel dejected every time I start up my Kobo only to realize I'm only 36% done.
The reason I persevere with this book is because it was selected for a book club. We chose the book democratically, and although it wasn't my first choice I was open to trying it. Five people in the group had suggested it, so the expectations were rather high. But as of this morning, I've heard from three people in the club who all struggling to finish it before the next meeting. Normally a few weeks would be plenty of time for me to read a book, but this one is proving to be a challenge. I'll be interested to hear what people think of the book once we do meet. How many people actually got through it? Also, did anyone enjoy it? It's only our second meeting but I am looking forward to it, especially since I had a lot of fun at the last one. I love reading, and finding time with like-minded people who share the same interest is immensely enjoyable. It makes me wonder why I haven't joined a book club sooner! So, my fellow book club-ites, remember: Hate the book, not the book club! ;-)