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The Good People Kindle Edition
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|Length: 333 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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"Rural pre-famine Ireland in all its beauty and desolation is alive on every page of this exquisite novel...'The Good People' is a dramatic tale of desperation, set in a bleak time and place when no amount of protective ritual and belief - or goodness - can rescue people from their circumstances."―Katherine Weber, The New York Times Book Review
"Kent's suspenseful storytelling plunges readers into early 19th-century Ireland. She brings vivid life to the hardscrabble scenes...Although 'The Good People' is fiction, it faithfully represents the hold of ancient Celtic myths on generations of Irish."―Minneapolis Star Tribune
"Add Kent to the list of terrific Australian novelists writing today. While Liane Moriarty (Big Little Lies) mines modern marriage and mores for her page-turning mysteries, Kent (Burial Rites) goes back in time to find reality-based stories of women who pay the price for challenging society's expectations. The Good People has great characters, a setting that seeps into your bones and the always compelling tug between the spiritual and the superstitious."―USA Today (starred review)
"If Stevie Wonder is correct, when you believe in things you don't understand, then you suffer. Kent's novel validates his indictment of superstition."―Kirkus
"Kent skillfully depicts a world where anything outside the norm falls under suspicion, particularly women who are not under the protection of a man."―Library Journal
Faith, folk-knowledge, and fear coalesce in remote 19th-century Ireland in this second novel from Kent...Though rife with description, backstory, and a surfeit of gossip, the book's pervasive sense of foreboding and clear narrative arcs keep the tale immersive. Kent leads the reader on a rocky, disquieting journey to the misty crossroads of Irish folk beliefs past and future.―Publisher's Weekly
"Kent brings her talent for writing dark and atmospheric historical fiction to this tale set in rural Ireland in 1825... Kent's immersive setting, benefiting from impressive historical research and the use of Gaelic vocabulary, features both a dramatically alive natural world and a believably fearsome supernatural one. Inspired by true events and exploring those places where reason, religion, and superstition cross paths, this will please lovers of haunting literary fiction. "―Booklist
"Kent has a terrific feel for the language of her setting..This is a serious and compelling novel about those in desperate circumstances cling to ritual as a bulwark against their own powerlessness."―The Guardian
"Taking its inspiration from newspaper reports of a real court case in County Kerry in 1826, THE GOOD PEOPLE is an even better novel than Burial Rites-a starkly realized tale of love, grief and misconceived beliefs."―The Sunday Times UK --This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.
About the Author
- File size : 5222 KB
- Publication date : September 19, 2017
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Publisher : Little, Brown and Company (September 19, 2017)
- Print length : 333 pages
- ASIN : B01NBQEA3M
- Language: : English
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #556,079 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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This novel, set in Ireland, is based on a true story. It soured my idea of fairies being mainly benevolent creatures, if they exist. I find the idea of a fairy inhabiting the body of a child and spiriting away the child’s spirit disturbing. For those who lived in this superstitious era, the notion must have been terrifying. I wanted to dislike and condemn Nora for her thoughts and actions toward her young grandson, Michael, who the community deems a cretin for his disability of limb and speech. Nora believes herself to be a good and kind woman, but she thinks, “Perhaps we are only good when life makes it easy for us to be so.”—a statement worth considering.
I sympathized with Nance, the old woman who proclaims herself a healer of both natural and fairy ailments. Her aunt and teacher had told her, “Some folk are born different... on the outside of things, with a skin a little thinner, eyes a little keener to what goes unnoticed by most.” And Nance believed this rang true of her.
Nance sets out to help Nora reclaim her grandson. Along with the help of a young servant girl named Mary, they work to apply what Nance believes to be a cure for the boy. However, the “treatment” leaves Mary in doubt. She finds it harsh and sinful, but Nora and Nance are determined.
I enjoyed this fascinating novel and look forward to more books by Kent that construct a place and setting I can sink into.
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ plot, story, and characters
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ strange punctuation - Single quote marks were used for dialogue, which I thought distracting and strange.
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ for minimal foul language and a mostly clean read
When Nora's husband collapses and dies not long after the death of their only daughter, Johanna, she finds herself alone having to care after Johanna's severely disabled son Micheál. Nora hires a girl, Mary, to help take care of him but becomes convinced the Good People can help restore the previously healthy little boy to her. She seeks out the help of Nance Roche, the village herbal healer and midwife who believes she can communicate with the Good People and together they plan a cure for Micheál.
This is a dark and bleak story but a compelling one as the villagers turn against Nance and Nora and events proceed to their unhappy climax. As previously, Hannah Kent's research into the life and times of early 19th century Irish peasants is very thorough and she paints a picture of a deeply superstitious people with the Church waging war on their primitive beliefs.
I found the detail of the living arrangements in both books virtually identical- and the plots weren't much different either. The first book held my interest for longer- probably because it was set in a completely unfamiliar place (early 19th century Iceland) but by the time I got to this book (set in the same period but in rural Ireland) the novelty had worn off rather. Essentially I found both books rather tedious, but 'the Good People' being the second one I read more so because of its similarity to the first. I wont be rushing out to get Ms Kent's 3rd book! That said, both books are well written and provide what I understand to be something of an accurate insight into the lives of the characters they depict. Some will enjoy this book and its predecessor- but I did not.
Top reviews from other countries
If a reader starts this book in the most cheerful frame of mind imaginable, I guarantee that by the final page he/she will be in the depths of despair and reaching for a large glass of wine!
I really enjoyed this story, even though it honestly doesn’t feel like an awful lots happens until right at the end. Kent is so good at transporting you into her story that you feel as though you are living with the characters.
This novel is set in Ireland in 1825, filled with small village life, religion, and superstitions. Kent is really good at weaving a beautiful story that sucks you right into the early 1800’s. You’re instantly immersed in the villagers lives, and especially Nora’s misfortune and troubles.
Characters in this one are stunningly done. There are three main characters we follow closely throughout, Nora, Mary, and Nance. It’s amazing how easy it was to get to know them, and how easily you can feel so many different emotions with and for them.
In terms of story, I did think this one was going to be that little bit more fast paced and have more elements of a mystery, but even without those two things, this is still a terrific read! I do really love a slow paced historical fiction, even ones like these where it doesn’t feel like much is actually happening in the book. This is definitely more of a character study kind of book, rather than plot driven book.
Overall, I really liked this one! I’m sorry the review is short but I honestly don’t really know how to review this other than saying it’s beautiful, fantastically well written, and pretty emotional (I cried at the end)! Definitely pick this up if you’re looking for a slow drama.
I have to say this is a very well researched book, most of the places are familiar to me and much of the folklore is similar to what we were told through stories in our childhood. My father would tell stories of people being "taken" by the fairies or people who suffered misforntune after having damaged "Fairy Forts".
Even though this story was written about early 19th century rural life much of this folklore still lingers in rural Ireland in the 21st century. A great work of fiction based on rural life in Ireland.