Having read a number of quite dark crime thrillers recently centering around grizzly themes and twisting plots, it was a nice change to be immersed in a lighthearted yet puzzling mystery novel.
The Trouble with Goats and Sheep for me draws parallels with The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime and To Kill a Mockingbird, with youthful protagonists being the most obvious link. Grace and Tilly are both endearing narrators and guide you through their world with an innocence reserved only for children. Equally Mr Bishop is the Boo Radley of the avenue; ostracized and made to feel blamed for the mysterious happenings.
I wouldn’t go as far as saying that I was left at the edge of my seat, or that I couldn’t bear to put the book down for fear of not reaching it’s conclusion quick enough, yet I would argue that sometimes you need to step away from the thriller shelf from time-to-time. I looked forward to reading the next chapter, without craving a dizzying high of adrenaline-fueled pages.
I had no trouble in enjoying this debut and look forward to reading the next of Joanna Cannon’s work.
The Trouble of Goats and Sheep: Joanna Cannon
For the past couple of months I have been plugging away at a book that has been a struggle to muster any sort of enthusiasm to read. So it was nice to change my reading fortunes by picking up a book in the morning, engaging with the characters, feeling that my heart had been warmed, and finishing it that same evening.
Sharing the same sweet, sentimental storytelling of The President’s Hat or the Little Prince, The Reader on the 6.27 is a lovely story of how we often stumble across people who share the same loves as we do, in the most unexpected places.
Guylain’s mission to find the woman that he instantly connects with through the writing of her diary, his conversations with his best friend Rouget de Lisle (the goldfish), and his public readings to the old women of a local care home, all provide a child like innocence to the protagonist. Therefore it’s easy to connect with his story and be compelled to keep reading.
Starting my day on the 7am flight to Geneva, I liked to think I was part of Guylain’s audience, as he read the pages of the books he’d saved from the pulping machine, alongside his other early morning listeners.
It was lovely to read a positive story of being passionate about something and sharing it with those around you.
Reader on the 6.27: Jean-Paul Didierlaurent