The Trouble with Goats and Sheep

  • by Joanna Cannon
  • Narrated by Paula Wilcox
  • 11 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Exclusive to Audible! Listen to the author talk about the inspiration behind the book at the end of this recording.
England,1976. Mrs Creasy is missing, and The Avenue is alive with whispers. As the summer shimmers endlessly on, 10-year-olds Grace and Tilly decide to take matters into their own hands. And as the cul-de-sac starts giving up its secrets, the amateur detectives will find much more than they imagined....

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What the Critics Say

"Part whodunnit, part coming of age, this is a gripping debut about the secrets behind every door." (Rachel Joyce)
"An utter delight. Perceptive, funny, dark, moving. And so beautifully written. I loved it." (Sarah Winman)
"A haunting, perceptive novel about the price of belonging. It's a treasure chest of a novel and I loved it very much." (Julie Cohen)
"A captivating new voice in British fiction. Not since Nathan Filer's The Shock of the Fall has a debut novel held the promise of such an exciting career ahead. One of the standout novels of the year." (Hannah Beckerman)
"Cannon's interrogation of hypocrisy and prejudice is insightful and compassionate.... I didn't want the book to end." (Carys Bray)
"An excellent debut. This cautionary tale of a suburban power struggle is charming and truthful, at once ambitious and intimate, with playful prose that reveals an intriguing mind at work." (James Hannah)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

1976 - long, hot and a wonderful experience

Despite the searing heat and water shortages, the long hot summer of 1976 was a magical experience for the young and Joanna Cannon has done an incredible job in conjuring this era back for us to enjoy once again. I well remember complaining about the heat (!), the stifling houses with carpet the colour of cough medicine and long evenings pouring over the Kay's catalogue trying to work out if I could afford the 48 weekly payments of 25p for a pair of dream shoes. This is a story set in an ordinary UK town and follows two little girls and their wry observations of the adults in their locality. One man is treated as a rank outsider by the rest of the community and their struggle to understand why he is treated this way makes a very moving and poignant story. There is the mystery of a disappeared woman, an arson attack and a kidnapped baby all woven into a tale of everyday life filled with believable characters. This is peppered with very frequent laughs and the odd teary moment and is an overall triumph of unashamed nostalgia and humanity.

Paula Wilcox does a lovely job of bringing this book to life and handles the male and female characters with equal aplomb. After this impressive debut I am really looking forward to reading more from this talented author.
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- Kaggy

Quite possibly the best book I've ever dived into

Where does The Trouble with Goats and Sheep rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

The best audiobook I've ever heard. I'm still not entirely sure of the difference between Goats and Sheep, but I do know now it doesnt matter. As long as we always remember that unbelonging is a belonging all of its own.


What did you like best about this story?

The way the author literally made you smell, hear and taste the story. I moved into the lane along with everyone else. Just brilliant.


What about Paula Wilcox’s performance did you like?

Clear, flowing, and completely believable.


If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

Jesus is a drainepipe.


Any additional comments?

I cannot wait until she write another book. I hated it ending and not entirely sure if any other book will ever live up to this. So I've just started listening to it again.

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- Mrs. V. Riley

Book Details

  • Release Date: 28-01-2016
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Limited