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Publisher's Summary

Part coming-of-age novel, part mystery, The Trouble with Goats and Sheep is a quirky and utterly charming debut about a community in need of absolution and two girls learning what it means to belong.

England, 1976. Mrs. Creasy is missing, and the Avenue is alive with whispers. The neighbors blame her sudden disappearance on the heat wave, but 10-year-olds Grace and Tilly aren't convinced. As the summer shimmers endlessly on, the girls decide to take matters into their own hands. Inspired by the local vicar, they go looking for God - they believe that if they find him they might also find Mrs. Creasy and bring her home.

Spunky, spirited Grace and frail, nervous Tilly go door to door in search of clues. As the cul-de-sac starts giving up its secrets, the amateur detectives uncover much more than they could have imagined. Instead of finding their missing neighbor, they must try to make sense of what they've seen and heard, and a complicated history of deception begins to emerge. Everyone on the Avenue has something to hide, a reason for not fitting in. It's only in the suffocating heat of the summer that the ability to guard these differences becomes impossible.

Along with the parched lawns and the melting pavement, the lives of all the neighbors begin to deconstruct. What the girls don't realize is that the lies told to conceal what happened one fateful day about a decade ago are the same ones Mrs. Creasy was beginning to peel back just before she disappeared.

For fans of Jeannette Walls' The Silver Star, this "is a gripping debut about the secrets behind every door" (Rachel Joyce, author of The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry).

©2016 Joanna Cannon (P)2016 Simon & Schuster

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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Wonderfully Portrayed

The characters are wonderfully portrayed, intrinsically flawed beings. They navigate the difficult reality of concealing their flaws while living a close knit and authentically judgmental community. It was a great read, all around.

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Fabulous story and narration!

This was an absolutely delightful and enjoyable story. The narrator did a phenomenal job of capturing the tone and essence of this story perfectly. I loved it from the first sentence to the last.

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Thought provoking story

Just loved the story and the author's writing style.
Recommend this as a good book club read as well!

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A good English neighborhood , through the peephole

A delightful book, narration excellent. The story of a small street in England where the neighbors think they know each other’s secrets. There are a few that they don’t know. I like the pacing of the book, told from a little girl’s viewpoint. You slowly get to know what goes on behind closed doors, although the biggest secret of all leaves you dangling to the end. A good solid listen.

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Charming

Wonderful and lyrical.... and beautifully read..
I have already recommended to friends who do audible as well as bought the hardcover for friends who don't.

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Unusual story

LOVED the narrator ! She really brought the multiple characters in this unusual story to life.

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Debut Novel

What exquisite writing, each sentence is constructed with the gift of an artist! A parable worth reading.

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Brilliantly crafted

The author has a magical narrative style and creates multiple mysteries that are carefully solved. It's almost impossible to put down but I also did not want it to end.