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Find out what Mumsnetters thought of The Trouble with Goats and Sheep by Joanna Cannon

(79 Posts)
SorchaMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 05-Jan-17 12:41:32

For the first book giveaway of the year, we'd like to introduce you to debut author Joanna Cannon and her first novel The Trouble with Goats and Sheep. You can also read her top tips for aspiring authors.

Mrs Creasy is missing and The Avenue is alive with whispers. The neighbours blame the disappearance on the heatwave, but ten-year-olds Grace and Tilly aren't so sure.

As the summer shimmers endlessly on, the girls decide to take matters into their own hands. And as the cul-de-sac starts giving up its secrets, the amateur detectives find much more than they imagined.

We ask all winners to share their thoughts about the book on this discussion thread. However, you don't have to win a free copy to take part in the discussion - anyone who has read The Trouble with Goats and Sheep can post their thoughts on this thread.

Everyone who posts detailed feedback on the book by the end of Thursday 23 February will be entered into a prize draw to win a £100 Love2shop voucher.

This giveaway is sponsored by HarperCollins

voyager50 Fri 06-Jan-17 09:32:03

I have heard so much about this book - I would love to read it. Fingers crossed for a giveaway copy!

RufusTheSpartacusReindeer Fri 06-Jan-17 09:33:37

Oh man i have just bought it

For our local book club smile

ThereAreNoGhostsHere Fri 06-Jan-17 10:11:13

I read this last year (well, audio book really smile). Really enjoyed it, one of my favourite books in 2016.

Elliepurpleflower Mon 09-Jan-17 11:30:47

This looks really good!! 😊

highlandcoo Mon 09-Jan-17 13:35:08

I remember the long hot summer of 1976 very clearly .. it was the year I got together with my first boyfriend .. now DH!

Would love to receive a copy smile

voyager50 Tue 10-Jan-17 09:34:14

It was the year I was born and my mum was heavily pregnant in the heat!

anonymousbird Wed 18-Jan-17 12:38:38

This is at the library waiting to be collected, hoping to read within next three or so weeks. I clearly remember 1976!!! Marking place to return.

GreenShadow Wed 18-Jan-17 20:42:04

Just heard I've been lucky enough to have won a free copy. Thanks MN and Harper Collins.
The heroines are a similar age to what I would have been in the 70s, so very much looking forward to it bringing back some happy memories of my childhood.

tworonnies1957 Thu 19-Jan-17 01:29:26

just been emailed and told I am one of the lucky winners of this book many thanks Mumsnet for the chance to win a copy

TanteJeanne Fri 27-Jan-17 07:10:28

Afraid I found it ultimately unsatisfying.... You don't really find out what is going on. I restarted the book once and was continually skimming back over previous chapters thinking I must have missed some crucial information.... but no. I guess it recreates the children's inability to penetrate the adult realm.
Having said that, I loved the situation of the girls roaming around in the heat of 76 filling their time, getting up to no good and exercising their imagination. Also, the writing is beautiful- new and unexpected juxtapositions of adjectives and nouns are so original, evocative and descriptive.

WipsGlitter Fri 27-Jan-17 11:09:11

I've read this. It was ok but I did feel I was ploughing my way through it rather than enjoying it. I also got all the characters muddled up! I liked the bit where the image of Jesus appeared!!

CopperPan Fri 27-Jan-17 22:39:37

This was quite a mysterious book and quite cleverly written, very delicate descriptions and a combination of wit and real emotion. It brought me back to my own teenage years and the strong characterisation really brought the plot to life.

tworonnies1957 Tue 31-Jan-17 12:54:22

thank you for your email update on the shipping of the book prizes was worried it had got lost in the post

GreenShadow Sat 04-Feb-17 15:30:17

Thanks MN. The book has safely arrived and is ready and waiting on my bedside table for as soon as I finish my current book.

tworonnies1957 Sat 04-Feb-17 15:46:55

received my copy safely today review to follow

countingdown Sat 04-Feb-17 16:13:18

My copy arrived today. I'm looking forward to reading it.

Penygirl Sat 04-Feb-17 23:30:20

Mine arrived today too. Looking forward to reading it, thank you.

ewood Sun 05-Feb-17 13:12:35

My copy arrived yesterday, looking forward to reading this.

BlackSusie2004 Sun 12-Feb-17 16:04:48

Thank you Mumsnet for my copy of The Trouble with Goats and Sheep, it was a nostalgic, enjoyable read!
The storyline itself was quite weighty, with the disappearance of Mrs Creasy and slowly learning about all of the neighbours secrets. Although people were more bigoted and judgemental back in the '70's, this is shown, but in a way that they are not allowed to get away with it.
Grace and Tilly are very real characters, and it is great that the story is narrated by Grace and we are seeing things from a 10 year old's perspective.
Although the storyline is quite serious, there is a lot of humour too, and I found Jesus on a drainpipe particularly funny!

Celama Thu 16-Feb-17 10:21:13

I got the Kindle edition of this book and found that I enjoyed it greatly reading it over two nights. So much of the backstory was left to your imagination but in a way that even if everybody reading the book imagined something different, it would all fit in with the story. The nostalgia brought back by the references to life in the '70s reminded me of many things I had forgotten from my childhood and the nuances throughout the story were very well thought out. All characters were believable and were easy to visualise in your mind and I found Grace and her behaviour particularly well crafted. Many parts of the book were sobering and thought provoking showing how quickly things can spiral out of control and the lasting effect that they can leave yet so much of the rest of the book was amusing, this was a unique read and I LOVED the ending!

duggerlugs Thu 16-Feb-17 11:54:15

Thanks for the opportunity to read and review this book. Having gotten back into reading recently I looked forward to getting a chance to read a chapter or so when little one was asleep.
I enjoyed the characters. The two girls on a mission and their perspective on things through wit and humour made it a really enjoyable read. I was an 80s child however the writing was so clever it enabled me to imagine what it was like. The linkages from what the girls hear repeat in the book somewhere else so I found those small details great to jog memory. A very enjoyable book.

thriftymrs Thu 16-Feb-17 12:12:15

Thank you, Mumsnet, for my copy. I really enjoyed how the plot developed and the characters of Grace and Tilly were well described and felt very real. The author describes that hot summer of 1976 very clearly. My only criticism would be that I found the "product placements" a little bit forced, as it seemed to me that she must have researched all the various brands which were popular at the time and taken every opportunity to shoehorn them in. Having said that, it did make me hanker after some butterscotch flavoured Angel Delight! I liked the characters and was taken by surprise by some of the twists and turns of the plot. Overall it has been written with honesty and compassion and I would recommend to other readers. This would be a perfect book club read.

Fiendarina Thu 16-Feb-17 13:33:25

Thanks so much for my free copy! I'm excited to read The Trouble With Goats and Sheep as I can just remember the heat wave during 1976, and am expecting lots of 70s nostalgia. Just need to get half term out of the way before I can really get stuck in!

Givemecoffeeplease Thu 16-Feb-17 16:16:24

I loved this story. Told from the perspective of two pre-teens whose naivety and innocence prevent them from seeing the dark histories of the adults around them. This childish narration is refreshing and also at time hilarious. I didn't predict the ending and loved the twists along the way. Will be looking out for more from this clever author. Thanks to Mumsnet for the book. As an aside, what a great cover!

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