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The Good People

3.84 based on 3968 ratings & 677 reviews on Goodreads.com

2017 Long-listed

Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction

Picador

09 February 17
9781447233374
0
£8.99
N/A
N/A

Synopsis

Shortlisted for the Walter Scott Prize 2017

County Kerry, Ireland, 1825.

Nóra, bereft after the sudden death of her beloved husband, finds herself alone and caring for her young grandson Micheál. Micheál cannot speak and cannot walk and Nóra is desperate to know what is wrong with him. What happened to the healthy, happy grandson she met when her daughter was still alive?

Mary arrives in the valley to help Nóra just as the whispers are spreading: the stories of unexplained misfortunes, of illnesses, and the rumours that Micheál is a changeling child who is bringing bad luck to the valley.

Nance's knowledge keeps her apart. To the new priest, she is a threat, but to the valley people she is a wanderer, a healer. Nance knows how to use the plants and berries of the woodland; she understands the magic in the old ways. And she might be able to help Micheál.

As these three women are drawn together in the hope of restoring Micheál, their world of folklore and belief, of ritual and stories, tightens around them. It will lead them down a dangerous path, and force them to question everything they have ever known.

Based on true events and set in a lost world bound by its own laws, The Good People is Hannah Kent's startling novel about absolute belief and devoted love. Terrifying, thrilling and moving in equal measure, this long-awaited follow-up to Burial Rites shows an author at the height of her powers.

In the media

Beautifully written . . . gripping
Grazia
Remarkable . . . Kent displays an uncanny ability to immerse herself in an unfamiliar landscape and to give that landscape a life - a voice - that is utterly convincing . . . a haunting novel, shrewdly conceived and beautifully written
The Australian
The Good People is a sensitively drawn tale of love, grief, and terrible loss, set in a tiny Irish village in the early 19th century . . . filled with descriptions of ritual and rhythm
Canberra Times
Hannah explains how an intriguing story that she discovered in a nineteenth-century newspaper inspired The Good People