The Casual Vacancy by JK Rowling: book club discussion Part 1 (contains spoilers)

This Part 1 of the book club discussion that took place in relation to JK Rowling's The Casual Vacancy. For more information see "Review: The Casual Vacancy by JK Rowling (something a little different)"

Was there one character in particular that you felt strongly about? Pity, sympathy, disgust? And did it change over the course of the book?  

JD I felt very sorry for Tessa. She tried hard to keep her family together and do the right thing by her husband and son. She obviously had a deep desire to have a baby even though her husband was unwell. I really wanted a happy ever after for her and I also wanted her to step up and take care of Krystal and Robbie. I wanted someone (anyone) to take care of them. The way it went was more realistic to today's society and that made me very sad and made it hard to read at times. Give me a happily ever after book now please!!

SH I really felt something for Krystal but mostly Robbie. Even though he wasn't a main character... I felt like the outcome of the vote would make or break his family. I was hoping Krystals little plan would work out. It's ironic that while trying to fall pregnant, to protect her brother, it actually ended in him dying 

JD agree SH. What did you feel towards theeir mum?  

SH Can I also say... It go to the point where if I had to read 'authentic' again I was going to scream!!!!! I just felt really sad for her JD. Sometimes in the book I felt disgust but mostly I felt pity.  
Read on for more discussion. 


JD I thought Krystals plan was a bit unlikely. I was stuck on the fact that she had to get pregnant then wait a few weeks to show it on a pregnancy test etc etc before getting placed and that so much was going to go wrong for her and robbie and their mum in that time... oh i didn't get that 'authentic' sub-plot at all. It didn't read well and made little sense. I think she could of explored his need to connect to his family identity differently. 

SH JD as unlikely as it would have been.. I was really counting on a happy ending for her  

BB I wanted to grab Sukhvinders mother and shake her, and give Sukhvinder a big hug!!!!! 

PAGE TURNERS On the authentic thing with the boy (who's name I can't remember) it reminded me of Holden Caulfield. Maybe the boy had just finished catcher in the rye hehe 

PAGE TURNERS What was the little girl’s name that was self harming? I felt for her the most. Poor little thing just wanted to be herself and have some love. She tried to save Robbie when a lot of other people didn't. Jut thinking about her makes me teary.  

BB That was Sukhvinder

PAGE TURNERS Then I'm with you. Lets shake the mother  

ÇAL I felt sorry for a lot of characters. Shirley at the discovery of her husbands affair. Krystal for obvious reasons, and Robbie at that matter. Tessa, but I also saw some of my own Mum's non-understanding in her which I hated. Samantha, the poor girl was being dragged down by her husbands needs to be on the council and total disregard for what she wanted. Most of all I think I felt sorry for Kay. Dragged into a town because of a man she thought loved her to be told that he didn't like her and was in love with someone else. While in Pagford she tried to help out with the Weedons, Gaia's transition from London to a small town, trying to fight to keep the Weedons going at Bellchapel and in the end her case review being reviewed.  

PAGE TURNERS It's so funny you say that CAL Because I feel the opposite about Kay! She was shitting me to tears. I think she knew her relationship with this jerk wasn't working. I didn't feel like she was really in love with him - more hat she was just desperate to be in a relationship and therefore desperate to make this one work when it obviously wasn't going to. And instead of just admitting to herself he wasn't the one she pushed it and pushed it and dragged her daughter into her own mess by making her move. It felt incongruous to me that in the one hand she appeared to have all this concern for the weedon family but she couldn't be honest with herself with what was going on in her own family.  

CAL That's a good way of putting it Page Turners. I agree on some levels but I still think that if Gavin hadn't of led her on she would never have had to pretend their relationship was going well. I wanted to punch Gavin in the head! I hate blokes like him with a passion 

PAGE TURNERS That's a good point. I didn't really Gavin much thought at all throughout the book - he was just so... bland. But you're right that he should have had the guys to tell her a lot earlier that he wasn't tat interested. They were both at fault


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