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

The Trouble With Goats and Sheep is a book to curl up with, preferably on a hot summer day, and savor Joanna Cannon’s cozy yet complicated world she has built in this novel.

The book is set in small-town England during the record-breaking summer of 1976. This hot and sweaty summer serves as a catalyst for the events which unfold on one particular street, simply named The Avenue. One of their residents, Mrs. Creasy, has gone missing, and it’s up to young Grace and Tilly to uncover the mysteries of this seemingly idyllic street.

As with most perfect exteriors, things aren’t as ideal as they appear from the outside. Some characters are hiding secrets, some are outsiders, and some are just trying to move on from their questionable pasts.

I have several conflicting thoughts towards this novel, but that’s not to say I didn’t enjoy it. It certainly kept me hooked (there were times when I would easily get through 100 pages without stopping), and some of the lines had me physically laughing out loud with their blunt sarcasm and backhanded insults.

But as much as I loved the quaint setting and feeling like I was back home in England, I couldn’t help feeling underwhelmed once I reached the ending. There’s plenty of nuances and character mysteries to uncover in this book, but that seemed to be where the problem was for me. I’ve said before that I love it when authors leave you to find out things for yourself rather than spoon-feeding you, but after finishing this novel I had to re-read some chapters to even make sense of some of the mysteries. Mrs. Creasy’s eventual fate also seemed like a lazy ending from Cannon. the book certainly leaves you with a lot to think about. It’s a worthy reminder that not everything is at it appears on the outside, and not to prejudge, as everyone is fighting their own battle that others know nothing about. Despite this, the book certainly leaves you with a lot to think about. It’s a worthy reminder that not everything is as it appears on the outside, and not to prejudge people, as everyone is fighting their own battle that others know nothing about.

3.5/5 stars.

If you’ve read this novel, let me know your comments below!

Buy the book here.

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