Getting into the festive spirit!

I started the day watching a Christmas film on Christmas 24 (which was rubbish by the way but most good Christmas films are!). Needless to say this put me in the exact mood for putting up my Christmas decorations. I got out my little black Christmas tree and I also decorated my desk so the festive spirit will be there while I’m writing!

The baubles in a jar idea I got from pinterest and my little tealight holders are currently burning Strawberry Buttercream Yankee Tealights. Not an overly festive fragrance but it smells delicious anyway.

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Are you in the festive spirit yet?

The Casual Vacancy by JK Rowling – A Quick Review!

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I’ve just finished this book after a whole two months. This is a bad start really as I usually go through a book this length in a week. This is just a quick review with no spoilers and I’m not going to go too in depth.

Firstly let me confess that as I grew up with Harry Potter and slightly idolise JK Rowling, I was always going to try this book. I am currently writing a story which is aimed at a similar aged audience as the later Harry Potter books and I really admire the way she wrote the series, particularly the way she built a whole world from scratch. I never want to be famous like she is (I’d be happy just seeing some of my writing in print) but I do think she is brilliant. That said, I am not going to compare this novel to the Harry Potter series because it can’t be done. This was never meant to be similar to the Potter books and needs to be read and reviewed as a stand alone novel. With that bit over and done with let’s get onto The Casual Vacancy.

The Casual Vacancy

A BIG NOVEL ABOUT A SMALL TOWN …

When Barry Fairbrother dies in his early forties, the town of Pagford is left in shock.

Pagford is, seemingly, an English idyll, with a cobbled market square and an ancient abbey, but what lies behind the pretty façade is a town at war.

Rich at war with poor, teenagers at war with their parents, wives at war with their husbands, teachers at war with their pupils … Pagford is not what it first seems.

And the empty seat left by Barry on the parish council soon becomes the catalyst for the biggest war the town has yet seen. Who will triumph in an election fraught with passion, duplicity and unexpected revelations?

 

 

This book failed to grip me from the very start. I persevered with it hoping it would get better and I found that my interest came and went as the story went on. I loved Pagford and the war with The Fields (the poorer end of the village). It’s the kind of place that always looks perfect but when you get a closer look it never is. With tiny village shops, the school and the community where everyone knows each other, Pagford is the perfect setting for a scandal such as there is in this novel.

However I feel that the characters let this story down. I found it hard to keep track of who was who and there was only really one family in the story that I was interested in. It turned out to be a very important story to the plot but I think focusing more on that part of the story would have made it a better read. I also found the election story line quite boring and not much happened in the first half of the book.

I won’t give anything away but I liked the ending. It was a good climax to the story and made for a more interesting few chapters. I definitely related more to the teenagers in this story and wonder whether it’s because JK Rowling is better at creating unique teenage characters than adults? 

All in all I did not enjoy this book as much as I thought I would and do not understand the hype surrounding it. However I think fans of this type of novel would maybe enjoy it more. I’ve heard it compared to Joanna Trollope although I have never read any of her books. I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone who isn’t a fan of this type of literature though. I was willing to give a new genre a try but it didn’t really work! I hope JK will branch out into other genres soon.

Cinders

A quick poem I wrote on my way into the shop this morning.

 

This tree looks like fire

How can it bear to let go of its beauty 

As its ember like leaves glide to the floor?

 

The trunk stands up tall

Its dull brown branches reaching into the sky

As soon they will be emblazened no more

 

The frost approaches

And soon the branches will glitter and sparkle

Different beauty but the tree knows the score

 

Then into the spring

The new leaves are not as bold as the old

But will grow strong as they follow nature’s law

 

Back into Autumn

And green transforms into flame like colours

The embers are grown back, soon to be no more

 

The circle of life,

Each generation as brave as the last

But the tree remains as the trusted old core

 

 

 

A quick thanksgiving themed rant.

I’m not American and so thanksgiving does not really effect me apart from what I read about it on the multiple American blogs I follow and pinterest. However in the past week I’ve been getting more and more annoyed about all of the “fun” turkey themed outfits/nail art/cake decorations etc.

For example:

I don’t understand why anyone would celebrate the fact that 45 million turkeys are going to be killed and eaten on this day. Dressing your children up in turkey t shirts for thanksgiving is just disgusting and so is giving them cakes with cute little turkeys on them. Why don’t you explain to your children exactly where their thanksgiving meat has come from and the quality of the bird’s life?