The Good People

Narrated by: Caroline Lennon
Length: 13 hrs and 37 mins
4.1 out of 5 stars (116 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Short-listed for the Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction

From the author of Burial Rites, "a literary novel with the pace and tension of a thriller that takes us on a frightening journey towards an unspeakable tragedy." (Paula Hawkins, best-selling author of The Girl on the Train)

Based on true events in 19th-century Ireland, Hannah Kent's startling new novel tells the story of three women drawn together to rescue child from a superstitious community.

Nóra, bereft after the death of her husband, finds herself alone and caring for her grandson, Micheál, who can neither speak nor walk. A handmaid, Mary, arrives to help Nóra just as rumours begin to spread that Micheál is a changeling child who is bringing bad luck to the valley. Determined to banish evil, Nóra and Mary enlist the help of Nance, an elderly wanderer who understands the magic of the old ways.

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 follow-up to Burial Rites shows an author at the height of her powers.

©2017 Hannah Kent (P)2017 Hachette Audio

Critic Reviews

"The novel is thrillingly alive to the dynamic of poor, close-knit communities, where fear of the outsider trumps reason and compassion." ( Metro)
"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 listener on a rocky, disquieting journey to the misty crossroads of Irish folk beliefs past and future." ( Publishers Weekly)
"An imaginative tour-de-force that recreates a way of perceiving the world with extraordinary vividness...With its exquisite prose, this harrowing, haunting narrative of love and suffering is sure to be a prize-winner." ( Daily Mail)

What listeners say about The Good People

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

Historical fiction at it's best.

I absolutely love this author. The narrator does an excellent job. The story is compelling.

4 people found this helpful

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Poetry in Fiction

Wonderful book. The visual images alone are worth the time and effort. Add a well-crafted story, characters with depth, historical fidelity and elegant prose, this book had it all.

4 people found this helpful

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Overboard????

This book is a little out of my reading comfort zone but I chose it for just that reason. It is well written and and narration is spot on. Why did I rate the story with a mediocre 3 stars you ask?
The story line is interesting and the characters are well developed. However, about midway through, the author took a turn and added so much folklore and superstitions from the time period that it became hard to follow and the characters got a little lost.

5 people found this helpful

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Fairies Not So Fine

Well written, great detail, beautiful story. Too Sad & TOO much toil for me. So Much Hard Work, on going grief, starving, cold strife for me to really enjoy. I kept reading hoping to find the bright spot.....

1 person found this helpful

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Horrible!

Depressing and disturbing- waste of a credit. Not much of a story, just bleak descriptions of ignorance and filth.

1 person found this helpful

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A thrilling ride to Ireland 1825

I enjoy reading and listening to the book. The sensory details allowed my to imagine the scenery of each place mentioned in the novel. The story is really interesting, especially since it is based on true events.

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My expectations were too high

The Good People is a book worth your time to listen. The story is good, filled with Hannah Kent detail & lovey prose. The narration could not be better. Hearing it made me want to learn to speak Irish Gaelic! The only reason I gave it 3 stars instead of 5 is that I had set my expectations too high. I absorbed Burial Rites. You know how it is when you are looking for a book & happen onto one that you think will be a nice distraction, instead becoming lost in it. I unintentionally compared The Good People to Burial Rites from the start, which only led to my “meh” attitude. Give this book a shot, without pre-judgement. I will dive into Hannah Kent’s next book with an open mind.

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I enjoyed it, but it was similar to Burial Rites

I like the way Hannah Kent writes. but I will say that burial rites was a stronger piece. however the performance was very good and the writing was lyrical and beautiful

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Poignantly beautiful.

Even better on the second read / listen. Can't wait for more from Hannah Kent.

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Wonderous....compelling

I fell totally into the atmosphere and the people of this book. It was shocking to actually hear spoken the sentiment of that time, from the contemporaries of the judge, when describing the thinking and actions of the defendants “It is genetic.” I also loved “Burial Rites” by this fine author. Look forward to her next book.