All is not well north of the tension line. A series of unsettling nighttime incidents have left the islanders uncertain whether to be nervous or annoyed. Are they victims of an elaborate teenage prank, or is there a malevolent stranger lurking on the island? Meanwhile, out-of-state owners of a new goat farm seem to consider themselves the self-proclaimed leaders of the island; Pali, the ferry captain, is troubled by his own unique version of writer’s block; and Ben, the captain’s ten year-old son, appears to be hiding something. But it is only when the imperturbable Lars Olafsen announces his retirement, and Stella declares her candidacy for office, that the islanders realize trouble is brewing. Fiona must decide whether it is time to leave the island for good, or to make another reckless gamble.
Book two in the award-winning North of the Tension Line series, The Audacity of Goats is the continuing tale of Fiona Campbell, and her reluctant adventures among the pleasures, mysteries, and exasperations of small town life
About the Author
J.F. Riordan was born in New Jersey and first moved to Michigan, then Wisconsin as a child. At the age of 14 she decided to become an opera singer, and was fortunate in the aftermath to have been able to sing. At 16, after two years of high school, she went to the University of New Mexico to study voice, continued her music studies in Chicago and Milwaukee, and ultimately became a professional singer. Homesick after years of travel, she came home to the Midwest, finished her college degree, and became certified to teach high school. She taught for three years in the inner city before taking a position as a program officer for a foundation. She lives in exile from Washington Island with her husband and two dogs. North of the Tension Line is her first novel.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
A Review of The Audacity of Goats Mark Schug My wife and I were recently on a cruise that left from Venice. I took The Audacity of Goats by J.F. Riordan along with me. It is the type of book I normally do not pick up but I loved it. This is Riordan’s second novel which takes place on Washington Island in Door County, Wisconsin. The location is important. Its isolation and small town context make for close observations of the characters and their environment. Goats has a nice, quick pace and engaging characters. You find you have smiles and concerns in equal amounts. Fiona and Elisabeth are the main ones to watch. They have great insights but they do have their blind sides as well which makes them all the more human. Roger, the coffee shop owner, is a unique character. He is aware of his own painful shortcomings but his solution is completely unexpected. And, then, there is the return of the often hilarious (if it wasn’t so serious) goat adventures. The subplots are fun and engaging. Young Ben's story was very poignant and loaded with insights. His conversation with Fiona and then his father were touching. Emily and Jason are a nice addition to the scene that holds some real promise for twists and turns in the future. The humor – the hardware store scene and the Lutheran Prayer Club – reminded me of something out of Garrison Keillor's Prairie Home Companion. None of this gets to the substance of the book, however. The author has deep insights about people and their surroundings. It is a satisfying and very uplifting book.
This is the delightful sequel to “North of the Tension Line,” and is even better than the first book in the series! The characters are delightful, there is a delicious mystery, and an eerily familiar political battle. You will love this book! (I actually read it in one sitting. Couldn’t put it down.) Highly recommended.
JF Riordan knocks it out of the park with her second novel, "The Audacity of Goats." Riordan's characters are divine and so well sculpted you can vividly see them. Her writing is intelligent without being stuffy and is bravely witty. Her first novel "North of the Tension Line" starts the story of Fiona Campbell on Washington Island and is equally well crafted. Both are great reads and should not be missed.