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

I was recommended this by my Mum as something light and quirky to read after I’d finished Captain Corelli’s Mandolin (click here to read my review) and it was the perfect book to take away on my bank holiday camping trip on Bute last weekend. The heat on Bute was sweltering and this really added to the atmosphere of the book for me as it’s set during the summer of 1976, the heatwave everyone still talks about.

I thought the book was plotted very well and very easy to read. I liked the occasional flashbacks that only revealed hints of what was going on and the narrative had great pacing. I thought using Gracie as a narrator was a fantastic way to see the avenue through her eyes because children are so innocent but so observant. She has a really strong narrative voice and I would love to see a sequel of who becomes when she grows up.

The main themes of social commentary, power struggles, and religion were all embodied through the variety of complex characters that populated the avenue. I thought Cannon did an excellent job of creating a  variety of distinct and unique characters who all had their own little stories and secrets and carried the weight of the story really well.  I also really enjoyed how the story never left the Avenue because as well as giving it a real sense of place and it meant the story could get really look into all the characters in depth.  I thought the story carried a really important messag both of acceptance and empathy.

Has anyone read this? What were your thoughts?

5 thoughts on “Book review: The Trouble with Goats and Sheep by Joanna Cannon

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