Utterly charming; bittersweet and beautiful
I love love LOVED this book. It’s a wonderful mixture of a coming of age book set in the claustrophobic heat of the UK's heat wave of 1976, but it’s also got an element of mystery thrown in, and a little bit of myth and parable, in all the best ways.
When a woman unexpectedly disappears, the whole street is shocked. Two girls respond by trying to find God, and trying to work out which of the street are ‘sheep’ and ‘goats’ (cf Jesus’ words in Matthew’s gospel). As they try to find God, we also discover that all is not as it seems, and a decade of secrets unravels.
It’s utterly charming, but has depth, too, and the drawing of the psychology of each character is utterly convincing (and in some cases, devastating.) It’s bittersweet, but more sweet than bitter, and at the end I found myself bawling more for the beauty and joy than any sadness therein. My favourite fiction so far this year. Highly recommended.