Sunday, December 25, 2016

The Trouble with Goats and Sheep by Joanna Cannon

Mrs. Creasy is missing.  Grace has picked up the habits of her elders and gossips with her friend, Tilly, about whether she just left or if she was murdered.  They decide to investigate.  They find secrets alright, but not the ones they wanted...

Scribner sent me a copy of this book to read for review (thank you).  It has already been published so you can buy a copy now.

The avenue they live on is filled with families in all stages of life.  Grace attempts to question people discreetly but it doesn't work well.  The more the girls snoop, the more questions arise.  Why does everyone hate Walter?  Who helped burn his house down?  Is that really Jesus on that drain pipe?

The reverend in the story refers to people as goats and sheep.  The goats are bad and the sheep are good.  Before the story is over, you'll meet more goats than sheep.

Grace has an active imagination and natural curiosity.  She doesn't take hints about minding her own business and everyone is worried that Mrs. Creasy is going to give away their secrets.  As the story goes along, you learn most of these secrets and realize no one in the community is without fault.  

The biggest lesson Grace learns is that betraying a friend to be more important is a bad thing.  She almost loses her friend.  But she does grow up a bit before the end of the story.

This is an interesting look at neighborhood and all its little idiosyncrasies.  A crime was planned, a crime was carried out and now everyone has guilty consciousnesses.  It didn't happen like planned and some people were hiding even deeper secrets.  Sometimes it's better to tell the truth... 

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