The Good People – Hannah Kent

R299.00

Kent’s debut novel Burial Rites (2013) placed her firmly into a category of ‘exciting new authors to watch’, and her long-awaited (especially by me) second novel, The Good People, is just as captivating. Impeccable research is part of Kent’s writing process, and the extent of her knowledge enables the reader to become fully immersed in a forgotten culture.

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Kent’s debut novel Burial Rites (2013) placed her firmly into a category of ‘exciting new authors to watch’, and her long-awaited (especially by me) second novel, The Good People, is just as captivating. Impeccable research is part of Kent’s writing process, and the extent of her knowledge enables the reader to become fully immersed in a forgotten culture. This time set in County Kerry, Ireland in 1825, Nora Leahy loses both her daughter and husband and is left to care for a grandson, whom she hides from her neighbours because of his recent strange inability to walk or talk. She hires a young girl to help and seeks advice from the local healer, Nance, who, it is believed, can speak to The Good People (Fairies). This is a culture who lives in deference to these creatures, and takes care not to annoy them. Gradually the locals become aware of the child, and start to believe he is responsible for all the current wrong happenings. The sheer power of Kent’s evocative, poetic writing creates an atmosphere that’s not always comfortable to be in, but which is totally fascinating nonetheless. A novel that will be enjoyed by those interested in herbal lore, folk tales and the tensions between superstition versus religion. Highly recommended.

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