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Burial Rites

A Novel

Kent, Hannah

(Book - 2013)
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
Burial Rites
Print
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 Tóti, 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. . . . BURIAL RITES evokes a dramatic existence in a distant time and place --
Publisher: New York, NY :, Little, Brown and Company,, 2013.
Edition: First North American edition.
ISBN: 9780316243919
0316243914
Characteristics: 314 pages ;,25 cm

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Nov 18, 2014
  • ehbooklover rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

A hauntingly dark and meticulously researched fictionalized account of the final days of Agnes Magnusdottir, the last woman to be executed in Iceland in 1829. The author’s talent for writing is such that the reader experiences the smells and sights of everyday life both in the isolated countryside of Iceland and within the family’s claustrophobic turf home. For me, this was what made this beautiful book such a page turner.

Nov 14, 2014
  • Helen100 rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

Burial Rites is the story of Agnes, the last woman to be condemned to public execution in Iceland. She, along with two others, were convicted of the savage murders of two men in 1828. Because Iceland did not have prisons at that time, Agnes was sent to live with a farming family at Kornsá while she awaited her beheading.

This book is rich with atmosphere. The harshness of the rural Icelandic farming life, the poverty of the people, and the human suffering is portrayed beautifully. Hannah Kent writes poetically and hauntingly.

I was completely taken by the story of Agnes’s life. I was also captivated by the farmer’s wife and daughters and the feelings they were experiencing. I was concerned for their safety because I really did not know what was going to happen; I could not decide whether Agnes was evil or if she was a victim in the tragedy. I am not convinced that events transpired the way Hannah Kent has described them, but I will say the novel was rife with tension.

This is an extraordinarily well written first novel and I highly recommend it.

Nov 14, 2014
  • htliang rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

Burial Rites is the story of Agnes, the last woman to be condemned to public execution in Iceland. She, along with two others, were convicted of the savage murders of two men in 1828. Because Iceland did not have prisons at that time, Agnes was sent to live with a farming family at Kornsá while she awaited her beheading.

This book is rich with atmosphere. The harshness of the rural Icelandic farming life, the poverty of the people, and the human suffering is portrayed beautifully. Hannah Kent writes poetically and hauntingly.

I was completely taken by the story of Agnes’s life. I was also captivated by the farmer’s wife and daughters and the feelings they were experiencing. I was concerned for their safety because I really did not know what was going to happen; I could not decide whether Agnes was evil or if she was a victim in the tragedy. I am not convinced that events transpired the way Hannah Kent has described them, but I will say the novel was rife with tension.

This is an extraordinarily well written first novel and I highly recommend it.

Nov 12, 2014
  • cathymount rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

A slow moving but dramatic and beautiful book. It accurately portrays the pace of life, geography, and social / political world of historical Iceland.

Oct 27, 2014
  • runfastread rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

This is a haunting, disturbing tale that takes place in Iceland and is based on the real life of the main character Agnes....the description alone of life in Iceland makes reading this book worthwhile! It is a story about a woman condemned to death for murder. The author is exceptionally adept at portraying characters who say very little, but whose attitudes change subtly towards one another... As the seasons change and Agnes awaits her impending execution among strangers, the real story slowly comes to light. The story is told from numerous perspectives, but skilfully handled .Agnes's voice is sharp and condemning, and hard to forget. The atmosphere is tense, and although the ending is predictable, it is still very very shocking.

Oct 05, 2014
  • parsnips rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

This is one of those books that I couldn't put down. After reading, I wanted to know more about the main character, Agnes, and Iceland. Imagine that. Couldn't get her story out of my head for quite a while.

Aug 08, 2014
  • CoreneBee rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Powerful book about how an act of violence can transform an entire community.

Based on the true story of Agnes Magnúsdóttir, the last woman to be executed in Iceland. The remote, isolated island was rocked by the brutal murder of two men in the 19th century. In a community where everyone is connected, no life remains untouched by such a violent act.

When the alleged perpetrators were found and condemned to execution, the troubling question arose: What to do with them in the meantime? Especially the moody and fierce, Agnes.

Their solution: Send her to live with a poor official's family in a remote farm.

Jul 14, 2014
  • BurienAdultLibrarians rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

A debut novel based on the true story of Agnes Magnusdottir, the last women to be executed in Iceland. Set in the early 19th century, this is moody, atmospheric book. Anges—spirited, intelligent, but a pauper—has been charged with the murder of two men, but is she really guilty? The relentless farm work, the tiny farmhouses, and northern Iceland’s winter weather give everything an appropriately claustrophobic feel.

Dec 30, 2013
  • uncommonreader rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

This story is based on real events in 1830s Iceland, but as the author hopes, told with greater ambiguity than the historical records. It shows a society of peasants in a remote location, whose lives have probably been substantially the same for many centuries and are characterized by superstition. This is obviously a first novel, and it becomes stronger as the narrative progresses. It is well-researched, but nevertheless there a few too many modern sensibilities and expressions. (Did people say they were toyed with in the 1830s?) Despite its weaknesses, this is an interesting take on a well-known story.

Dec 13, 2013
  • KarenW rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

In Iceland in the early 1800's, there are no jails or prisons, so when a horrific murder is committed, the prisoners must be either sent to Copenhagen or kept locally by residents. This means that Agnes, one of the convicted, must be boarded by a family in the district that the murder occurred. She is at first an outcast, suspected of any imagined crime. But soon as the winter comes, the family members hear her story and come to change their minds and hearts. Realistically told and beautifully written I spent my whole day reading this wonderful first novel.

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Mar 16, 2014
  • marinersfan33 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

marinersfan33 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 10 and 99

Nov 13, 2013
  • DarcieC rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

DarcieC thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

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app08 Version Hasselnot Last updated 2014/12/22 14:47