Burial Rites: A Novel (Large Print / Hardcover)
An exploration of "how did it come to this?", Burial Rites is a beautifully written & engaging debut about the last person to be publicly exevuted in Iceland. Agnes Magnusdottir is charged & found guilty of the murder of two men, and in the months preceding her death, she recounts her life's sad tale. Interwoven with her story, readers receive a glimpse into the lives of Icelandic peasants in an ongoing struggle to live & survive in a harsh yet beautiful land. Burial Rites is a heartbreaking witness to a young woman's last moments that will stick with you long after you have finished the last page.— Laura
September 2013 Indie Next List
“Set against the desolate fire-and-ice landscape of 19th century Iceland, Burial Rites is a brilliant, multifaceted novel that traverses dark psychological terrain while providing pitch-perfect historical detail. Debut author Hannah Kent is equally skilled at delving into the mind of Agnes Magnusdottir---a servant woman convicted of murder and condemned to beheading---as she is at rendering the domestic life of the poor farmers charged with sharing their tiny hovel with her, as there are no prisons in Iceland. At once a brooding morality tale and a ferocious page-turner, Burial Rites is the kind of novel that asks serious questions while always remaining superbly entertaining.”
— Keaton Patterson, Brazos Bookstore, Houston, TX
Set against Iceland's stark landscape, Hannah Kent brings to vivid life the story of Agnes, who, charged with the brutal murder of her former master, is sent to an isolated farm to await execution.
Horrified at the prospect of housing a convicted murderer, the family at first avoids Agnes. Only Tv=ti, a priest Agnes has mysteriously chosen to be her spiritual guardian, seeks to understand her. But as Agnes's death looms, the farmer's wife and their daughters learn there is another side to the sensational story they've heard.
Riveting and rich with lyricism, Burial Rites evokes a dramatic existence in a distant time and place, and asks the question, how can one woman hope to endure when her life depends upon the stories told by others?