This one was a little of the beaten path for me. But the detour was totally worth it.

Cannon’s The Trouble with Goats and Sheep is the story about a neighborhood, a mystery and the truth about human nature. It’s told mostly from the perspective of 10 year old Grace.

Set in England during the summer of 1976, Grace and her best friend Tilly are having a normal day when suddenly news spreads that Mrs. Creasy has gone missing. Her husband can’t find her and reports her missing, so the police get involved. But they uncover more than just a missing woman. Apparently this little neighborhood is hiding a lot of secrets, some of them dark and sinister. But Grace and Tilly don’t know this, so they take it upon themselves to find Mrs. Creasy, and along the way, try to find God.

Cannon did a great job of filling the neighborhood with interesting characters. Grace’s parents, the odd woman down the street, a man with a loud mouth in the bar, and the man accused of trying to kidnap a child. Layered on top of all of this Grace is beginning to come of age and discovering social patterns. And Grace learns what’s really important when Tilly gets sick.

Overall, I really enjoyed this novel. As someone who lived in a small town, some of Cannon’s dynamics were all too relatable. And the religious aspect was interesting and well incorporated without being obnoxious, a feat many can’t pull off. Additionally the writing was good and the characters were unique.

Some of it was a little slow but that seems to be inevitable when your entire plot is based on a giant secret the reader doesn’t know. I will also say I was torn about the ending. There were a lot of missing pieces that I couldn’t have guessed which was good. But it also was a little anti climactic.

This is going to come as a shock to you, I know, but I recommend you pick it up and give it a read yourself!