The Trouble With Goats and Sheep by Joanna Cannon
…When we’d sung about behaving ourselves, the vicar climbed into the pulpit and said he was going to read from the Bible.I sat back with a Licquorice Allsort.
‘All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another, as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats…’
‘Sheep again,’ said Tilly.
‘I know,’ I said. ‘They’re everywhere.’ I offered her an Allsort, but she shook her head….
Ten year old Grace Elizabeth is confused about how God herds the sheep and the goats. Her friend Tilly also wonders how He knows who the sheep are. And on top of this, they are confused as to why Mrs. Creasy disappeared.
…’She disappeared without taking any shoes.’
Tilly’s eyes bulged like a haddock. ‘How do you know that?’
‘The woman in the Post Office told my mother.’
‘Your mother doesn’t like the woman in the Post Office.’
‘She does now,’ I said.
Mr. Creasy began on another box. With each one, he was becoming more chaotic, scattering the contents at his feet and whispering an uncertain dialogue to himself.
‘He doesn’t look like a murderer,’ said Tilly.
‘What does a murderer look like?’
‘They usually have moustaches,’ she said, ‘and are much fatter.’
Seeking God, and hoping he would help them search for Mrs. Creasy and restore normalcy in their avenue, the girls discover that everyone has their own “expert” opinion about what God does. They also realise that one can’t always rely on adults.
…’Did you hear that?’ I said. ‘Mr. Forbes said they’re all buffered.’
‘That’s not very church hall-ey, is it? said Tilly, who still wore her sou’wester. She wiped the Bovril with the edge of her jumper. ‘Mrs Forbes has been a little unusual lately.’
…It’s the heat, Mr Forbes had said, as he took her back inside with a cup of tea and the Radio Times.
‘Why do people blame everything on the heat?’ said Tilly.
‘It’s easier,’ I said.
‘Easier than what?’
‘Easier than telling everyone the real reasons.’
Heartwarming and funny, sometimes sad and mostly introspective, Joanna Cannon’s debut novel, The Trouble with Goats and Sheep, connects instantaneously. Written from the perspective of children, the novel has a simple and easy feel. Streaming with innocence and childish amazement, different stories and plots come together to unravel the mysteries of adulthood and of course, WHY MRS. CREASY DISAPPEARED!
A beautiful written novel that leaves you feeling warm and happy!