Saturday, 11 November 2017

Book Review: The Trouble with Goats and Sheep by Joanna Cannon

The Trouble with Goats and SheepThe Trouble with Goats and Sheep by Joanna Cannon
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Very hard to give a rating to this book, because I absolutely loved the 'voice' of the book (5 stars), the quality and originality of the writing style and the brilliant way we are transported back to 1976 with so many nostalgic touches that made me smile. It's captivating for those reasons, but for me, personally, I didn't feel swept along by the actual storyline. Maybe I read it over too long a period; maybe I'm used to novels with more of a pacy, page-turner feel to them? As an aside, however, having said that, I adored another 'hot summer' book: The Night Rainbow by Claire King - which also has brilliant fresh children's voices, but DID keep me gripped throughout. (You can see my review at:

There are beautiful concepts and themes in Joanna Cannon's book: the oppressive heat of that summer (I was taking exams and remember it well), the portrayal of the neighbourhood gossip/close-knit community and twitching curtains, the mission of the two young girls to literally 'find God' (and believing this would be the answer to everything), their search for clues as to Mrs Creasy's whereabouts after her disappearance and the scenes about the discovery of Jesus at the drainpipe. The latter is exquisitely done.

Sadly, for me, the latter part of the story didn't feel tight enough and ultimately struck me as rather meandering and incidental. The 'mystery' aspect seemed to run out of steam. Nevertheless, I'd certainly recommend giving it a go, for the reasons I've noted.

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