The Trouble With Goats And Sheep by Joanna Cannon - BOOK REVIEW
What I expected at first to be a light whimsical read is instead a highly perceptive examination of everyday lives, laced with a ominously dark undertone. The story takes place in an almost idyllic suburban setting, set against the backdrop of a sweltering 1970's English summer. Mrs Creasy has disappeared and 10 year-old Grace and Tilly have taken it upon themselves to investigate. They find their street reveals secrets far deeper than the disappearance itself, but intrinsically tied to that singular event. As stated on the cover, this is "part whodunnit, part coming-of-age".
Exquisitely written, the sheer attention to detail transports us to the 1970's - 'Kays Catalogue', 'Angel Delight', 'Whimsies' and 'Brian Clough'. The story has well-developed characterisation, and is interspersed throughout with humour and a sense of irony. And by the end, we truly see what is meant by poetic justice. A pretty long book (453 pages of story) with an ambitious narrative, but one that clearly a lot of hard work has gone into to get right.