#FridayBookShare – The Good People

#FridayBookShare is an excellent way for book lovers to share what we’re all reading.  It was created by Shelley Wilson and follows a set of questions, with the first letter of each spelling out the word Friday.  Then, as it’s posted on a Friday, it’s known as Friday Book Share.

As I’m an avid reader I’m thrilled to have found Friday Book Share, it’s such a good way to share what I’ve been reading and interact with others about books.

Here’s my latest post,  The Good People by Hannah Kent

The instructions are quite simple-

07 _ 10 _ 2014 (4)

Here’s my #7 post: The Good People by Hannah Kent

First line/paragraph: Nora’s first thought when they brought her the body was that it could not be her husband’s.

Recruit fans by adding the book blurb: 

Nora 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 Micheal.  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, Nora hires a fourteen year old servant girl, Mary, who soon hears the whispers in the valley abut 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 Michael.  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 they have taken….

This book was set in Ireland in 1825 and relies on a mixture of superstitions and religious rituals the people of the time are reluctant to let go of.  Her writing sets the scene from the start and draws the  reader into this world.  Fairies, or the good people, are considered to be real and consorting with them can bring good and bad results.  Hannah researches her stories well and we are taken into the world of these people living a hand to mouth existence where a still birth or heart attack take on different meanings and are often a result of other forces.

Introduce the main character using only three words – Nora is sad, bereft and scared 

Delightful design


Audience appeal:   This book would appeal to those who enjoy reading historical fiction, fiction, supernatural, fairies, folk-lore and cultural stories.

Your favourite line/scene: Micheal had begun to scare her.  Everything he did – his quick, unpredictable movements, his calls and shrieks at things she could not see – reminded her of Mary’s words. He is a changeling. And everyone knows it but you.

‘What are you?’ Nora whispered.  Micheal looked up to the rafters and blinked. His chin was flaked with a tidemark of dried saliva.  He was snot-nosed, his eyes fringed with pale lashes, slick with moisture.  Nora placed a firm hand on his forehead.  She could see his jaw grind under his skin. ‘Are you child or changeling?’  Nora whispered.  She felt her throat jump with the pulse of her panicked heart.  Micheal closed his eyes and let out a pealing, wet shriek, bucking his spine against the straw bedding.  Before Nora could snatch her hand away, Micheal reached up and grabbed a fistful of her loose hair.  She tried to uncurl his fingers but he jerked his arm backwards and the pain came, hot and searing.  

I really enjoyed this book with its rituals and superstitions.  Like Hannah’s first book Burial Rites, which I also enjoyed, this is a work of fiction but inspired by a true event of infanticide in 1826. There is an interesting Author’s note at the end of the book which goes into some detail of how she researched the novel.  She says ‘In writing this work of fiction I have sought to portray fairy and folk belief as part of the fabric of everyday rural nineteenth-century Irish life, rather than as anomalous’.

I have to say that although I enjoyed it, I found the story unsettling and a tad scary at times. The level of everyday violence based on gossip, rumour and innuendo was unnerving and very real.  It was very well written!

I’d love to hear your thoughts if you’ve read this book.  Any other suggestions for books to read would be most appreciated.

I like reading so much I have created  a page on my blog that lists all the books I read throughout the year.   I started this project in 2014/2015 and enjoyed the process so much I kept going into 2016 and now into 2017.  It’s a great way for me to remember what I’ve read. I also try to write a brief comment about each book as well. Feel free to check out my reading pages and let me know if you have any recommendations.  I can also be found on Goodreads if you’d like to connect.

Here’s a link to my (slowly) growing number of posts for #FridayBookShare.  I was also featured on Shelley’s blog as a reader – here’s the post Reader Spot Meet Book reviewer Debbie Harris.  Feel free to join in!


7 Replies to “#FridayBookShare – The Good People”

  1. Thanks for introducing me to #FridayBookShare. I am also an avid reader so am happy to discover this link up. Your description of ‘The Good People’ quickly brought me to that place and time (and did unsettle me a bit). I’m off to explore your book list — what a great idea!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Burial Rites was one of my book group’s choices last year – we all loved it and found it astonishing that it was a debut novel. I might be tempted to try this one if I ever get through my current tbr pile…..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes I agree for a debut novel it was great! And she wasn’t very old and was a Rotary exchange student when she got the idea. Amazing stuff. What are you reading now?


      1. I’m reading a book by a local author who travels round Scotland in a Campervan to get peace to write! One of those books I bought at a library reading to be polite and am really enjoying. Before that, finished our January book group title. All Quiet on the Western Front. So harrowing.

        Liked by 1 person

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