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Publisher's Summary

Inspired by a true story.

In 1825, in a remote Irish valley lying between the mountains and Flesk River of Killarney, three women are brought together by strange and troubling events.

Nora Leahy, a widow, has lost her daughter and her husband in the same year and is now burdened with the care of her grandson, Michael. The boy cannot walk or speak, and Nora has kept him hidden from neighbours, who might see in his deformity evidence of supernatural interference. There is rumour that Michael is a changeling, a 'fairy stock', and the cause of the ill luck that swarms the valley.

Down by the river, an old woman known as Nance Roche lives alone, acting as a doctress to the community, a person said to possess knowledge from the Good People that enables her to cure inexplicable ills. With the arrival of a new priest and his determination to cleanse the valley of superstitious practices, the purity of Nance's actions is called into question.

As misfortune begins to befall Nance's patients and her need to assert her importance to the community intensifies, Nora Leahy brings Michael to be cured. The women begin to banish the changeling and restore the healthy child, but as their desperation increases, their folkloric practices become more dangerous - until all their lives are in danger.

©2016 Hannah Kent (P)2016 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd

Critic Reviews

"Kent offers a wealth of engaging detail...always a sign that an author has a deep and sympathetic knowledge of her subject." ( The Independent)
"Hannah Kent’s prose is extraordinarily terse and precise." (Thomas Keneally, winner of the Booker Prize)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A fairy story for grown-ups!

I was looking forward to reading The Good People as I loved Hannah Kemp's first book, which I also listened to on audible, and I wasn't disappointed. The author is so talented at building a whole different land in your head, and this is really helped along by listening to the mesmerising accent of the reader.
The story is well-crafted, and fascinating, it had me on the lookout for faeries! Sometimes the unfolding of the story seemed repetitive, but it was probably part of the build-up of the tale. I never could have picked the ending.
Hannah Kent I such a fresh and engrossing author, she really gets my brain and my senses humming.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

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Really takes you there.

I am not much of a reader but this was excellent. You could really imagine being there. The language was great and the writer has obviously done her homework.
A good read ..... or listen.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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The Good People. A charming and fascinating story

What made the experience of listening to The Good People the most enjoyable?

Caroline's reading of Hannah's story transported me to middle Ireland in the early 1800's. While horrified at the doings of Nance and Nora, I was there with them... I understood their rationale and the raw ignorant emotion and beliefs and expectations of the situation.

What did you like best about this story?

I had not considered that on the "eve" of enlightenment there would be a period in enclaves and hidden valleys and hamlets throughout the world really, where old habits and superstitions would die hard, a time when ignorance butted up against more progressive thoughts in a day to day manner. A time when traditions had to make way for a more educated life. Of course there was that time.. when education was not wide spread. Where very few people read and yet lived and died and worked. I had just not considered it as a reality.

What does Caroline Lennon bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

Caroline made the characters real to me, likeable and unlikable. Her accents were, to an Australian ear perfect. I was there in every scene, observing, feeling, sensing, smelling, living and shivering too.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

For me there was a deep sadness but also understanding. It was a difficult time to live, a hard and harsh time. I was somehow able to imagine just how life might have been for my great great grandmother in Killarney back then. It was very sobering .

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Enthralling

Would you consider the audio edition of The Good People to be better than the print version?

I haven't read the print version, but adored the audio. I'll be buying the print book as a memento and gift for others.

What did you like best about this story?

Brilliant writing, fantastic characterisation, resonances for today - subtle, thought provoking about the power of ancient beliefs.

Which character – as performed by Caroline Lennon – was your favourite?

I loved them all - Caroline's performance was brilliant.

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

Ancient magic, a fairy child, the women who believe, and those who don't ...

Any additional comments?

I just loved this book. Hannah Kent is a superb writer, and the audio was compelling and brilliantly performed.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Excellent

I very much enjoyed the story. I couldn't stop listening and loved the voice of the reader.
It was an interesting subject and lead me to research more on the traditions and myths.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

First Audio Book

My first ever audio book. Loved the lilting accent and was intrigued by the performance of the narrator though thought the story was drawn out through the middle and rushed and lacked depth at the end. Overall still looked forward to the drive to and from work so I could hear a little more.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Fascinating historical novel by Hannah Kent

Well-researched, brimming with interesting, full-of-life characters, and writing so good, you feel like you're actually a part of the tale. I simply couldn't put down The Good People; I simply needed to know what was going to happen next!

Caroline Lennon narrates this story with a Pure-Irish delight. The Gaelic poems and traditional Irish names roll off her tongue, with the sweetness of honey. Lennon is such a perfect fit - I couldn't imagine anyone else narrating this book.

Another absolute gem; from the author of Burial Rites! Hannah Kent's Star is rising. She is an extremely talented author, who has the world ahead of her. I can't wait for her next book!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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The lure of an Irish story all it entails .

Beautifully narrated story of the old times and the good people. Hannah Kent excels in atmospheric local colour. Another triumph.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Slow

Very slow. Well written but not much happened. Not a bad read, just an okay read.

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excellent book

Found this book interesting and intriguing. Takes you back to a different time...different ways and beliefs..totally enjoyed it.