The Casual Vacancy opens with the death of a much-loved figure: parish councilman, father and friend, Barry Fairbrother. He leaves behind a village at odds and consumed by a desire to fill the vacancy with someone who will either support or oppose the rezoning of the Fields (a housing project).
Along the way, the various characters -- a second-string schoolmaster, Colin, and his adoptive teenage son Fats; Miles, caught between his connection to Barry (former business partner) and Howard (blood relation); and Kay, a social worker who shuttles between the two camps, conveying news in both directions -- form and re-form in our eyes. Slow to begin, but really quite compelling, the story makes you think about the people of small communities, especially those who fall through the cracks.
Jacki @ Central