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 facade 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.
Another 6 Degrees of Separation book that I haven't actually read but for me reading the synopsis of The Casual Vacancy brings to mind ...
#1 PUBLIC BATTLES, PRIVATE WARS: Another community in turmoil as conflict with the Coal Board turn to war and relationships are pushed to the brink in a novel that mixes fiction with the actual politics of the time.
#2 THE MUMMYFESTO: Government cutbacks that threaten the school's lollipop woman's job, bullying, infertility, disability, the hospice movement - just some of the issues that compel three women to stand in the 'mother of all battles', the general election. Though not without a political element like the above book this is also a very human story that chronicles everyday lives and struggles.
#3 VIVIEN'S HEAVENLY ICE-CREAM PARLOUR:Yet more lives turned upside down as sisters Imogen and Anna unexpectedly inherit their late grandmother's ice-cream parlour.
#4 THE HUNDRED-FOOT JOURNEY: Another 'foodie' novel. The Hundred-Foot Journey sees a boy from Mumbai embark on a picturesque journey to London, across Europe and on to a remote French village where a culinary war ensues.
#5 THE ROAD TO RECKONING: Described as a 'Western-style adventure'. The details of twelve year old Thomas' journey as he travels through the open plains of America to his New York home is exceptional, the Appalachian frontier towns with all their poverty, violence and religious fervour wonderfully described.
#6 SACRED HEARTS: Concentrating largely in and around the workings of a sixteenth century convent's hospital and infirmary. The religious fervour and various sexual and political tensions are almost tangible as new-comer, the sixteen year old Serafina, unleashes a power play of rebellion, ecstasies and hysteria's within the convent walls.
6 Degrees Of Separation is a monthly meme hosted by Annabel and Emma in which readers are invited to link six books according to whatever connections come to mind.