Burial Rites by Hannah Kent
Pub: Sept 10, 2013
3.5 of 5 stars
Agnes, charged with murder, is sent to live with a family at an isolated farm in order to await execution.
They have strapped me to the saddle like a corpse being taken to the burial ground. In their eyes, I am already a dead woman, destined for the grave.
This novel, which is based on a true story, takes place in Iceland in the early 1800s. The imagery and language which Kent uses is wonderful, and paints a very vivid picture of life for Agnes and her temporary jailers. The details about life in Iceland at this time make the reader really feel like he’s there, awaiting execution with Agnes.
If I had known when I first read this that it was based on a true story, I might not have minded the ending so much — but when the whole story finally comes out about what happened the night of the murder and what Agnes’ role in it actually was, I felt a little let down, as it was pretty much as I had expected from very early on.
Overall, though, this is an incredibly well-researched, beautifully-written novelization of historic events.