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The Good People - Hannah Kent


Published: 27th September 2016
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Published: 27th September 2016
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The fires on the hills smouldered orange as the women left, pockets charged with ashes to guard them from the night. Watching them fade into the grey fall of snow, Nance thought she could hear Maggie's voice. A whisper in the dark.

"Some folk are born different, Nance. They are born on the outside of things, with a skin a little thinner, eyes a little keener to what goes unnoticed by most. Their hearts swallow more blood than ordinary hearts; the river runs differently for them."

Nóra Leahy has lost her daughter and her husband in the same year, and is now burdened with the care of her four-year-old grandson, Micheál. The boy cannot walk, or speak, and Nora, mistrustful of the tongues of gossips, has kept the child hidden from those who might see in his deformity evidence of otherworldly interference.

Unable to care for the child alone, Nóra hires a fourteen-year-old servant girl, Mary, who soon hears the whispers in the valley about the blasted creature causing grief to fall upon the widow's house.

Alone, hedged in by rumour, Mary and her mistress seek out the only person in the valley who might be able to help Micheál. For although her neighbours are wary of her, it is said that old Nance Roche has the knowledge. That she consorts with Them, the Good People. And that only she can return those whom they have taken...


Brilliant both content and style.


Liked it so much bought Hannah Kent's other book Burial Rites. Both so well written. I would consider Hannah Kent as one of the best most interesting writers of current times.

Raymond Terrace NSW

A good book


An original story which kept me interested from the beginning. I loved the setting of this book and adored Nance Roche's character. It made me feel wistful for a different time. The only con I could think of was that the ending felt a little unfinished to me


Good insight into the superstitions of 19th century Ireland


Well written, but not as good as Burial Rites. A little monotonous in parts but overall a good read. Hannah Kent has the knack of retracing history and putting it into words. Hard to follow in parts, but once you get near the end it all comes together.

Swan Bay, Tas

I loved the book. Great Author.


Great bookclub read.

Perth Western Australia


Not My Cup Of Herbal Tea


Threadbare characterisation, misapplied usage of seemingly randomly gathered bits of old Irish peasant customs and beliefs and ridiculously exaggerated 'colloquial' speech. I prefer to read Charles Kickham's once famous book 'Knocknagow' for a more authentic account of Irish peasant life before the Famine.

Melbourne, Australia


Different, refreshing, and informative of a different era.


I loved learning about that time period and the beliefs and ways of people of that time. The story is engaging and well written.

Newcastle, NSW


Better than Burial rights!


I loved Burial Rights but this one is even better. The characters are well developed and the story line is brisk. There wasn't the difficulty with the language barrier presented by Burial Rights. I just wish that Hannah could put in some foot notes or more references or explanations to some of the Gaelic language she uses. Couldn't put it down.

Adelaide, South Australia

Well researched


Well written well researched but I felt there was little character development. Have passed on to a friend and looking forward to discussing. Lots of folk lore not much story.

South Coast NSW


This was a gift to my daughter she loved the book


Sometimes author repeated pieces of the story


not as good as Burial Rites.


had trouble engaging with characters. found the superstition a tad tedious. ditto the religious control. it made me want to scream with frustration quite honestly. the saving grace is the quality of the writing, Its just that i couldn't connect with the story.

northern new south wales


The Good People

4.2 21


Hannah Kent

Hannah Kent is a Melbourne-based writer, born in Adelaide in 1985. Her first novel, Burial Rites, has been translated into over twenty languages and was shortlisted for the Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction (formerly the Orange Prize) and the Guardian First Book Award. It won the ABIA Literary Fiction Book of the Year, the Indie Awards Debut Fiction Book of the Year and the Victorian Premier's People's Choice Award, and has most recently been longlisted for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award.

Her second novel, The Good People, is set in pre-famine rural Ireland.

Hannah is also the co-founder and publishing director of Australian literary journal Kill Your Darlings.

Visit Hannah Kent's Booktopia Author Page

ISBN: 9781743534908
ISBN-10: 1743534906
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 400
Published: 27th September 2016
Publisher: Pan Macmillan Australia
Country of Publication: AU
Dimensions (cm): 23.3 x 15.4  x 3.0
Weight (kg): 0.3