Short Story Review: ‘Keeping Watch Over The Sheep’ by Jon McGregor

Story Title: Keeping Watch Over The Sheep
Collection/Anthology?: This Isn’t The Sort Of Thing That Happens To Someone Like You (Bloomsbury)
Date Read: Wednesday 13th February 2013
Briefly: A father is stopped at the school doors from going in to see his daughter’s first nativity play. His desperation is evident, but he plays the diplomatic card and calmly walks away.
Afterthoughts: What amazes me about Jon McGregor’s short fiction writing, is just how much he manages to fit into a short space. Keeping Watch Over The Sheep amounts to more than six pages, yet it feels much longer, and in a good way. This story comes with an underlying tension. It’s clear that the father has something of a violent streak in him, and one wonders while reading whether he will manage to maintain his composure, or if his desperation to see his daughter will cause him to boil over. Of course, I’m not going to tell you whether he does lose the plot or not, but I will say that I rode an empathy roller coaster for the father, and the situation that he finds himself in.

Rating: ★★★☆☆

This story was read as part of a review of the Jon McGregor short story collection, This Isn’t The Sort Of Thing That Happens To Someone Like You. If you want to find out more about this collection then I invite you to pop along to my forethoughts post for this title, or to take a trip over to the publisher page for this book.

About Rob

Rob, a self-confessed bibliophile, is without any hope of rehabilitation. He gets unnaturally excited over anything book-shaped, and if book sniffing were a crime then he would have been locked up years ago (which wouldn't bother him in the slightest provided his cell was lined with books).