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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
“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