The Good People
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 new 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.
The audio rights are handled by Picador Books.
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Kate Cooper manages the translation rights for The Good People
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It’s a haunting novel, shrewdly conceived and beautifully written.
I am in awe of Kent's gifts as a storyteller.Paula Hawkins
author of The Girl on the Train
A thoroughly engrossing entrée into the macabre nature of a vanished society... takes us straight to a place utterly unexpected and believable, where amidst the earnest mayhem people impose on each other, there is no patronizing quaintness, but a compelling sense of the inevitability of solemn horrors.
Booker Prize-winning author of Schindler's Ark
Kent conjures up with exceptional intensity and empathy a world in which folk beliefs hold as much sway over people’s minds as religious faith... The Good People is an even better novel than Burial Rites ― a starkly realised tale of love, grief and misconceived beliefs.
Kent has a terrific feel for the language of her setting... This is a serious and compelling novel about how those in desperate circumstances cling to ritual as a bulwark against their own powerlessness.
Rural pre-famine Ireland in all its beauty and desolation come alive on every page of this exquisite novel.
New York Times Book Review
The Good People concerns the collision of ancient customs with the forces of modernization, in medicine, local government and the law. Ms. Kent has a knack for conjuring the unsettled spirit world through deft stylistic flourishes… It makes the terrors of the past feel palpable and imminent. It makes you reach for whatever good luck charms you carry with you.Sam Sacks
Wall Street Journal
Bewitching story of 19th-century rural Ireland, based on reality.
"hauntingly poetic and evocative”
"an intricate, heartbreaking portrayal of three women and the conflict between religious belief and folklore."
"Kent has a wonderful talent for taking fragments of historical facts and breathing life into them through her fiction. She has matched her debut with another disturbing and haunting novel."
"Gripping and compelling"
"The novel is thrillingly alive to the dynamic of poor, close-knit communities, where fear of the outsider trumps reason and compassion."
"A first-class harrowing, haunting narrative of love and superstition."
“In 1825 County Kerry, three woman try to restore Nora’s young grandson Michael, a formerly healthy boy who now cannot walk or talk. Based on true events, this book by the bestselling author of Burial Rites was called “a starkly realized tale of love, grief and misconceived beliefs” by the Sunday Times. It’s beautifully written and completely captivating- how someone born in 1985 can conjure up 19th-century rural Ireland so vividly is incredible. "
"The Good People has great characters, a setting that seeps into your bones and the always compelling tug between the spiritual and the superstitious."
“Rural pre-famine Ireland in all its beauty and desolation come alive on every page of this exquisite novel.”