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THE GOOD PEOPLE by Hannah Kent.
Based on a real case this meticulously researched book was a compelling story involving superstition, rituals and the dark evil of curses. We were surprised that such a young writer managed to convey so well the atmosphere of this claustrophic and isolated community trying to survive in abject poverty. The finger for their misfortunes mostly rests on a disabled child as the community seek reasons for and help to alleviate their burdens. One member was irritated that there was no glosssary to explain some of the local vocabulary and another felt the book lacked emotional impact and she struggled to enjoy it. The rest of us found it a very sensitively written book, full of beautiful imagery and incredible pathos.
The characters were well defined and believable. At times the writing was a bit wordy and one member felt the structure needed tightening up. We all agreed there was a tendency to be repetitive but overall we felt Hannah Kentby, being non-judgemental in her portayal of events, had achieved an absorbing if extremely gruelling account of how superstition and fear can have disastrous, if understandable, results.