Hannah Kent Announces New Novel, The Good People

Set in 1825 Ireland, the novel will be based in “a remote Irish valley lying between the mountains and Flesk river of Killarney” where “three women are brought together by strange and troubling events.”

Australian novelist, Hannah Kent has announced that her upcoming novel, The Good People, will be released this October. The Adelaide born writer made the announcement on Twitter:

Kent received global recognition and high praise for her bestselling 2013 novel Burial Rites, which followed the real-life story of Agnes Magnusdottir, the last woman put to death in Iceland. The Good People is Kent’s second novel after Burial Rites and also inspired by a true story. A description posted on the webpage of the talent agency representing Kent shows that The Good People will be a moody thriller dotted with folklore and changelings. Set in 1825, the novel will be based in “a remote Irish valley lying between the mountains and Flesk river of Killarney” where “three women are brought together by strange and troubling events.” From Curtisbrown.co.uk:

Nora Leahy, a widow, has lost her daughter and her husband in the same year, and is now burdened with the care of her grandson, Michael. The boy cannot walk or speak and Nora has kept him hidden from neighbours, who might see in his deformity evidence of supernatural interference. There is rumour that Michael is a changeling, a ‘fairy stock’, and the cause of the ill luck that swarms the valley. Down by the river, an old woman known as Nance Roche lives alone, acting as a ‘doctress’ to the community, a person said to possess knowledge from the Good People that enables her to cure inexplicable ills. With the arrival of a new priest and his determination to cleanse the valley of superstitious practices, the purity of Nance’s actions is called into question.

With Burial Rites having received a slew of awards and praise, including a bidding war for the novel’s film rights, expectations are high for this promising young author’s second outing. Kent was the subject of an episode of Australian Story that looked at the global success of Burial Rites and what inspired her to write the novel. The Good People will be released this October in Australia by Picador Books.   Image: Nicholas Purcell

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