Monday, August 6, 2018

Dear Great Book Guru, I love August in Sea Cliff- it is as if time has stopped.  Everything and everyone moves more slowly, voices are lower, music is softer. There is a magical Brigadoon quality to the entire Village- a perfect time to read a new book- something a little unusual. Any ideas?   August Acolyte

Dear August Acolyte, A few weeks ago, I read an unusual book with an equally unusual title: THE TROUBLE WITH GOATS AND SHEEP by Joanna Cannon.  The title relates to a biblical parable about judgment day when the good and the bad will be recognized for their deeds.  But the trouble for the young narrator of this novel, Grace and her friend Tillie, is that the goats and sheep seem one and the same. Set in an English suburb first in the summer of 1976 and then back in time to 1967, the book centers on two mysteries: the recent disappearance of a neighborhood woman Mrs. Creasy and that of  a baby girl ten years earlier.  How are the two time periods and the two missing characters connected?  Grace is an amusing, perceptive, but ultimately unreliable narrator. The dynamism of the book rests in its six main characters - each with a backstory that ultimately explains the strange happenings on this one very British block.  When the mystery is finally solved, we realize there have been many goats in sheep’s clothing and none should be judged.    Recommended!

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