Monday, September 16, 2013

Burial Rites by Hannah Kent

Marvelous, incredible, beautifully told.

A murderess who must be housed at a farm because there is a financial problem with the prisons? How would you feel about being forced to live with someone who committed murder? Would you feel safe? Would you protest?

Agnes Magnusdóttir was brought to Margret and Jon's home until her execution date.  Agnes is required to work as a farmhand in a town that embellishes her murderous deeds more and more each time the tale is told. 
BURIAL RITES is based on an actual historical event in Iceland.

In alternating voices and flashbacks the author masterfully lets the reader in on the secrets and the story of the murders and of Agnes' life before her conviction and in her current position in the chosen household.

The author also has you questioning if Agnes has been wrongfully accused. Her flashbacks describe the actual murder, her relationship with the deceased, and her earlier life. A life lived in this same town holding her captive.

The writing and prose is exceptional.  The book flows beautifully as it describes the harsh life in Iceland and the bitter weather.  There is no lull in the narration.

The book's descriptions are amazing.  Every minute detail is described beautifully.  Even the dreary, tedious life of each character is described so well you see it clearly and are right there sharing their misery. The living conditions were described as on the poverty level but the families had servants....that was a bit confusing.

Everyone was poised to not like Agnes, but as the story unfolded the family became fond of her simply because she was a good person and a good worker.  The only person who didn't like her was Lauga, the daughter of Margret and Jon.  Margret became comfortable with Agnes and enjoyed having her around.  Each of the characters connected well and are marvelously authentic and believable.

BURIAL RITES is a book that you do not want to miss.  The book's situation and setting, the writing, and the characters are all phenomenal and come alive through the author's exquisite skill.   5/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation at the BEA by the publisher in return for an honest review.







40 comments:

  1. Everyone HAS to read this. It is superb in all aspects. :)

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  2. I got a little hung up on keeping the various Icelandic names straight, but once I did, I really got into this novel. I'm not quite finished with it yet, but it's so engaging!

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  3. It is amazing. THANKS for stopping by, As the Crowe flies and Reads.

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  4. I got this at BEA as well and you've made me glad I did. It sounds fantastic!

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  5. You definitely will be glad you picked it up. It is FANTASTIC.

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  6. I'm so looking forward to getting to this one - the reviews are all so tantalising, and she's also a local author - double pleasure!

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    1. You will love it, Vicki.

      Thanks for stopping.

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  7. Wow, this does sound intriguing! And I love the fact that it's set in Iceland...definitely not a setting you see in fiction very often. I'll have to give it a go when I get the chance!

    Great review!

    Wendy @ Escape Into Fiction

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  8. Glad you enjoyed it - I'm still reading it, finding it hard to concentrate on. Maybe it's me ;)

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  9. THANKS, Wendy.

    I hope it gets better for you, samstillreading.

    Pretty neat, Vicki, that Ms. Kent is a local author.

    THANKS for stopping by.

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  10. Wow, sounds like a wonderful book to read! Thanks for sharing your review. I'll have to add Burial Rites by Hannah Kent to my ever growing wishlist.

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  11. I hope you get to read it, Captivated Reader.

    THANKS for stopping by.

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  12. I've had my eye on this one...and what a compelling story this must be. Thanks for sharing....

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  13. It's amazing that this is based on a true story! Thanks for your great review.

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  14. I have to say I was hesitant to pick this one up, but it seems like everyone is loving it! Maybe it's time to reconsider...

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  15. Just got this book this week, yet to read it. Glad that it is a big hit with you. Thanks.

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  16. I did enjoy it, Rita_h.

    Some folks aren't liking it, but it looks like it is hit for the most part.

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  17. THANKS, Pat.

    Yep...try to reconsider, Lindsey. :

    THANKS to you both for stopping by.

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  18. Thank you for the great review. I have this on my TBR. I will have to get to it sooner rather than later.
    -Dilettantish Reader

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  19. I am happy I moved it up on my TBR stack, Belle Read.

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  20. Elizabeth, wonderful review. Ever since I featured this in my monthly Book Releases by Aussie Authors series I've been wanting to read it but haven't managed to find time to do so as yet. Will have to remedy that!

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  21. Thank you for the review. I've been intrigued with this book ever since I saw an ad (an ad for a book!) when I was at ALA in Chicago.

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  22. 5 stars. Fantastic. I was hoping the reviews would be great on this one. It sounded so good.

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  23. Wow, I will definitely have to read this! Intriguing!

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  24. Joanne P....I hope you get to read Burial Rites.

    Deb Nance....I think I saw that picture on your blog and I actually think that is what made me move up the reading stack. :)

    Jennifer...it was good...hope you get to read it.

    It was intriguing, Quixotic Magpie.

    THANKS for stopping by, everyone.

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  25. Wonderful review Elizabeth, your review makes me want to pick it up immediately!

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  26. THANKS, Teddyree...I hope you like it and can get it soon.

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  27. I've heard good things about this book and you make it sound even better. Will be keeping an eye out for this one--thanks for the recommendation. :)

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  28. THANKS for stopping by, Katherine.

    I stopped by your blog as well....very nice blog.

    I hope you get to read Burial Rites.

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  29. This book sounds very interesting. I've have to keep an eye out for it.

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  30. Oh Dorothy...it was really good. THANKS for stopping.

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  31. I saw this at ALA and was intrigued. It sounds really amazing - great review!

    Kate @ Ex Libris

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  32. THANKS, Kate. You will love the book.

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  33. This looks like my kind of book. I've added it to my list.

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  34. You will love it, What Remains Now.

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  35. There's a lot of word of mouth on this one, and I will definitely have to read it now after reading your review.

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  36. You will love it, Clothes in Books.

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  37. It doesn't quite sound like my cup of tea, but sometimes really good writing will draw me in to a story I wouldn't otherwise have been attracted to.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog!

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  38. Give it a try, barbarah. It isn't gory or anything like that.

    THANKS for stopping.

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