*Soon to be a major motion picture starring Jennifer Lawrence*
A brilliant literary debut, inspired by a true story: the final days of a young woman accused of murder in Iceland in 1829.
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.
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?
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
This stunning debut from Australia-born novelist Hannah Kent fictionalizes the real-life story of the last person executed in Iceland. Its prose transports you to the stark, brutal life of the island nation’s rural communities in 1829—a place where human existence itself can be tenuous and fraught emotions underlie the relationships of the seemingly phlegmatic Icelanders. We highly recommend this unforgettable novel.
Kent s debut delves deep into Scandinavian history, not to mention matters of storytelling, guilt, and silence. Based on the true story of Agnes Magn sd ttir, the novel is set in rural Iceland in 1829. Agnes is awaiting execution for the murder of her former employer and his friend, not in a prison there are none in the area but at a local family s farm. J n J nsson, the father, grudgingly accepts this thankless task as part of his responsibility as a regional official, but his wife and daughters reactions range from silent resentment to outright fear. After settling in to the household, Agnes requests the company of a young priest, to whom she confesses parts of her story, while narrating the full tale only to the reader, who, like the priest, provide her with a final audience to her life s lonely narrative. The multilayered story paints sympathetic and complex portraits of Agnes, the J nssons, and the young priest, whose motives for helping the convict are complicated. Kent smoothly incorporates her impressive research for example, she opens many of the chapters with documents that come directly from archival sources while giving life to these historical figures and suspense to their tales.
Customer ReviewsSee All
I look and look, read summaries and descriptions of novels, hoping to find a book like this one. This one will stay with me for a very long time. Absolutely amazing!
Beautifully written story. I wanted it to end and I feared it's ending.
I would like to say that this is an outstanding story about love and forgiveness. it will set beside another book called,"The Light Between Oceans" which both me and my husband read and loved! Thank you for sharing history with us!