Burial Rites

Burial Rites

A Novel

Book - 2013 | First North American ed
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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 : Little, Brown and Company, 2013
Edition: First North American ed
ISBN: 9780316243919
Branch Call Number: FIC Kent
Characteristics: 322 p


From Library Staff

Bunny_Watson716 Oct 01, 2013

What a fantastic read! Hannah Kent made the gritty world of rural Iceland come alive in all its sombre glory. Agnes becomes much more than her fate, and seeing her become richly three dimensional is incredibly rewarding.

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Apr 04, 2021

Compulsively readable, with an engaging rhythm of first and third person narratives.

JCLSarahZ Aug 11, 2020

Set in Iceland in the 1800's this historical fiction depicts what life might have been like for a young woman accused of murder and sentenced to death.
Though fiction, this novel is based on true events.

This book was very slow to start and I almost quit reading it. I was intrigued with the subject matter, so I stuck with it and I'm glad I did. Eventually the story picked up momentum. It's clear the author did her research on this historical event and the people involved. I'd love to know what actually happened on that day, and why. Since that's not possible, I am willing to accept Kent's account as plausible.

Hillsboro_JeanineM Feb 25, 2020

In this fictional re-imagining of the life of Agnes Magnusdottir, the last person to be beheaded in Iceland, Agnes's life and "imprisonment" on a farm is reconstructed in a beautifully engaging story.

Nov 07, 2019

Second reading via Kindle Immersion
Narration is slow, deliberate, haunting; ringing with truth and hardship from the time.
I've highlighted much of Kent's writing, especially thoughts from Agnes, which are so deeply honest and dripping in emotion.

Beautifully written, brilliantly researched!
Agnes Magnusdottir, an Icelandic work maid condemned to execution in 1829, will forever be kept somewhere in my mind for the atrocities she endured during the oppressions of her lifetime.

Oct 15, 2019

It took me a minute to get into the time period and the story. Even with skimming over the Icelandic words, the story is very good. I found myself wanting it to move along because I was excited for the interactions between characters, but this didn't happen as quickly as I would have liked. Overall a good story and a quick read.

Jun 23, 2019

Heart breaking story.. Kristi & Abby Tabby

Feb 04, 2019

It took me quite a few pages to get into this, but once I did, I liked it. It’s a sad story, but also an interesting insight into what must have been a difficult place and time to live.

Jan 04, 2019

Didn’t last 30 pages. Cold, muddy, Stark, rigid religious world.

Dec 13, 2018

Atmospheric novel about a woman condemned to death in early 1800s Iceland. Since there were no real prisons in Iceland at the time it was decided to house her with a local official to await her fate. The family slowly adjusts to having her there and her life story and the story of the crime are told in flashbacks. Vivid descriptions of the brutal conditions in the harsh climate and the barely subsistence farming really draw you in. Knowing the outcome does not detract or distract from the story and that it is based on fact just adds to the fascination. I did not expect to love this book but I did.

1829 – Iceland. Angus Magnusson is the last female publicly executed in the country. She was found guilty as an accomplice in the murder of two men.

But what part of a murder is valid for criminal punishment if the act was not done with malicious intent?

This gripping, well researched and detailed historical fiction provokes its readers to re-examine assumptions. It sheds some light in the bleak darkness surrounding her story. Haunting. This is Hannah Kent’s debut novel. (Submitted by Rei).

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Jun 07, 2018

Kpaavola thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

Nov 13, 2013

DarcieC thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over


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