Review/ The Goat

Review/ The GoatThe Goat by Anne Fleming
Published by Groundwood Books on March 1, 2017
Pages: 120

When Kid accompanies her parents to New York City for a six-month stint of dog-sitting and home-schooling, she sees what looks like a tiny white cloud on the top of their apartment building.
Rumor says there’s a goat living on the roof, but how can that be?
As Kid soon discovers, a goat on the roof may be the least strange thing about her new home, whose residents are both strange and fascinating.
In the penthouse lives Joff Vanderlinden, the famous skateboarding fantasy writer, who happens to be blind. On the ninth floor are Doris and Jonathan, a retired couple trying to adapt to a new lifestyle after Jonathan’s stroke. Kenneth P. Gill, on the tenth, loves opera and tends to burble on nervously about his two hamsters — or are they guinea pigs? Then there’s Kid’s own high-maintenance mother, Lisa, who is rehearsing for an Off Broadway play and is sure it will be the world’s biggest flop.
Kid is painfully shy and too afraid to talk to new people at first, but she is happy to explore Manhattan, especially the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Central Park, where she meets Will, who is also home-schooled and under the constant watchful eye of his grandmother. As Kid and Will become friends, she learns that Will’s parents died in the Twin Towers. Will can’t look out windows, he is a practitioner of Spoonerism, and he is obsessed with the Ancient Egyptian Tomb of Perneb.
When Kid learns that the goat will bring good luck to whoever sees it, suddenly it becomes very important to know whether the goat on the roof is real. So Kid and Will set out to learn the truth, even if it means confronting their own fears.

I don’t know why I picked up this book.  For weeks on end, whenever I walked by a particular shelf at Chapters, this book would stand out.  I cannot explain why.  It does not have a flashy cover.  The title is quite plain.  However, my curiosity got the better of me.  Someone actually wrote about a goat living on top of an apartment building in Manhattan.  What kind of story could possibly come out of this scenario?

Well, Anne Flemming takes the ordinary (a goat), places it in New York (apartment building), and adds extraordinary people (the tenants), and creates a touching story for all to enjoy.

Any other place, with any other group of people, minus the goat, and it just wouldn’t have the same impact.  Heartfelt, courageous, and poignant, “The Goat” captures real feelings from real people in an exceptional way.  A must read for anyone who has ever felt on the outside and so desperately wanting to belong on the inside.  Let this goat take you on a wild goose chase and realize you are wonderful just the way you are.

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