The Trouble with Goats and Sheep: A Novel

September 14, 2017 - Comment

“An astute, engaging debut” (Publishers Weekly), The Trouble with Goats and Sheep is a quirky and utterly charming tale of a community in need of reconciliation and two girls learning what it means to belong.England, 1976. Mrs. Creasy is missing and the Avenue is alive with whispers. The neighbors blame her sudden disappearance on the

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“An astute, engaging debut” (Publishers Weekly), The Trouble with Goats and Sheep is a quirky and utterly charming tale of a community in need of reconciliation and two girls learning what it means to belong.

England, 1976. Mrs. Creasy is missing and the Avenue is alive with whispers. The neighbors blame her sudden disappearance on the heat wave, but ten-year-olds Grace and Tilly aren’t convinced, and decide to take matters into their own hands.

Spunky, spirited Grace and quiet, thoughtful Tilly go door to door in search of clues. The cul-de-sac starts to give up its secrets, and the amateur detectives uncover more than they ever imagined. A complicated history of deception begins to emerge—everyone on the Avenue has something to hide.

During that sweltering summer, the lives of all the neighbors begin to unravel. The girls come to realize that the lies told to conceal what happened one fateful day about a decade ago are the same ones Mrs. Creasy was starting to peel back just before she disappeared…

“A thoughtful tale of loyalty and friendship, family dynamics and human nature” (Kirkus Reviews), this glorious debut is part coming-of-age story, part mystery. The Trouble with Goats and Sheep radiates an unmistakable warmth and intelligence and is “rife with tiny extraordinaries” (The New York Times Book Review). “Joanna Cannon is an author to watch” (Booklist, starred review).

Comments

Billard says:

Pleasant easy read. Three and a half stars. Set on a street during the 1976 heatwave, it’s the story of two children Grace and Tilly who set about finding a neighbour who goes missing, probably voluntarily. The street has bit of a dark past in that one even character has been ostracised. Mainly the story is through the eyes of the children though we get a view point from every house and learn about those characters too. There are prejudices in this story but nothing is ever black and white and children see things…

CM says:

Needs revisions! I thought this book had a lot of potential….even the title had a good meaning. I liked how the chapters were organized by address/character and each chapter revealed a bit more about the “mystery”. However the character development was poor, leaving the reader confused and questioning. And the ending was a disappointment. We read it in my book club and all agreed we wouldn’t recommend it to a friend.

Laura Ann Green says:

Small town intrigue A page turner about 2 young girls trying to solve a mystery by finding Jesus. Lots of interesting characters as the story moves between the present and the secrets of the past.

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