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The Good People Audiobook

The Good People

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Publisher's Summary

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 had 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.

©2017 Hannah Kent (P)2017 Pan Macmillan Publishers Ltd.

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  • bookylady
    5/4/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Fabulous writing. Fairies, fokelore & superstition"
    Any additional comments?

    I can't praise this enough. A fabulous story about what happens when folklore and superstition in early19th century Ireland meet religious intolerance (in the form of a priest) and an ignorant, undereducated and often abusive rural community.

    The Good People of the title refers to the fairies and their ways, something that some of the community passionately believe in; others do not. When newly-widowed Nora Leahy's disabled grandson arrives in the village he is blamed for a whole series of misfortunes that hit the community. Nora hires a maid, Mary, to help her with the child and the girl begins to form a relationship with the boy. Mary believes the child to be a cretin who needs a lot of care and attention. She sees very little empathy for the boy in Nora and is troubled by the treatment meted out to him by his grandmother.

    Nora believes that the boy iis a Changeling and that she needs to persuade the Good People to return her real grandson to her. So she turns to Nance, the local wise woman who is known to have ' the knowledge' of healing in the old ways, knowledge which she claims she has gained from the Good People.

    Local people turn against Nance when a new priest preaches against her sinful way of living and her heathen ways. When he also refuses to help Nora to cure her grandson he unleashes a series of events that culminate in tragedy for all three women, Nora, Nance and Mary.

    This is a very superior novel written by a stellar author. One of the best pieces of historical fiction I have read or listened to. Great characters, a plot full of detail and layers and a wealth of folklore. At the end I felt that I had been allowed a glimpse into a forgotten time where life was steeped in magic and the supernatural and belief of the wrong type could get you killed. Priests versus wise women - it is always bound to end in tears, or worse. It was ever thus.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • John
    4/21/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A fascinating glimpse back in time."

    I stayed for a few months in the west of Ireland in the 1980's and even then heard echoes of these kind of beliefs. Particularly I remember a standing stone left in place fifty foot in the air on its cone of untouched earth as the quarry men who had taken everything around it away, 'would not want to disturb the 'good people''. One hundred and fifty or so years earlier some people in the west of Ireland must have believed all manner of superstitions, and in this story things get out of hand.

    Hannah Kent has beautifully drawn the women here in an engaging but increasingly tragic affair. After reading Burial Rites I was dreading her second novel in case it was not so good but I think she has brought this story alive with sympathy and understanding.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Spirit
    Cornwall
    6/18/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "loved it and enhanced by the narration"
    Would you listen to The Good People again? Why?

    Definitely - it's tense, literary, engaging and excellent narration.


    What other book might you compare The Good People to, and why?

    It is a bit like Hannah Kent's previous book in building tension and really understanding the community at the time - you feel totally immersed.


    Have you listened to any of Caroline Lennon’s other performances? How does this one compare?

    No but I'm going to look for some - excellent.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes!


    Any additional comments?

    It's a long time since I have enjoyed an audible book so much and I listen to a lot - perfect listen.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • K. Bridges
    UK
    6/17/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A sad tale read beautifully"
    Where does The Good People rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    It's quite good but not one of my favourite


    If you’ve listened to books by Hannah Kent before, how does this one compare?

    I preferred Burial Rites to be honest


    What about Caroline Lennon’s performance did you like?

    She has such a beautiful accent and it's perfect for the story she is telling.


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

    It is very upsetting and, although I didn't cry, it did make me very sad.


    Any additional comments?

    I enjoyed this book but it isn't as brilliant as Burial Rites. If you want to listen to a book by Hannah Kent, I recommend that one instead.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Aisling
    4/24/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Extraordinary writing"

    Don't be put off by the gloom and misery at the beginning of the book. She is such a good writer that when she describes cold, damp dreary weather, you nearly need to wrap up warm to stop shivering in sympathy. The characters are well drawn and they draw the reader into their world where things they can't understand are explained as either the will of God or the work of malevolent fairies.
    This is a bookl which I would recommend

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Christina
    Pwllheli, Gwynedd, United Kingdom
    4/3/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Emotional story!"

    This story was performed excellently, and reminded me so much of the stories my Granny told me. It shows the harshness of the social division in Ireland and lack of education of the general population. People sought to understand their hardships and ailments, and not having any other knowledge used what they knew to explain and heal their​ problems. I believe the wise women did understand the herbs and have healings, and a lot has been lost through their practice being treated as pagan and evil. All these women wanted to do was heal and bring health and prosperity to the community even if some times their ministrations were somewhat misguided! God bless my ancestors!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Beth
    8/2/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Fascinating"

    This book was beautifully written and a great historical novel however I found it very bleak and cried a lot !

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    7/24/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A Bewitching tale !"

    A credible tale of the combined effects of fairie-lore & superstition. I dont want this to be a spoiler. Well worth a read/listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Sarah
    St Peter Port, Guernsey, United Kingdom
    7/20/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Haunting and unforgettable"
    Any additional comments?

    The most haunting book I have heard for some time. Hannah Kent captures the simple, sweet, melancholy lives of the characters and the folklore and superstition that binds or divides the community they live in. The beautiful, soft lilt of the narration by Caroline Lennon brings it all to life, as the poor people of the Irish valley struggle to find explanations for life events they cannot understand.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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