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Burial Rites

A Novel
Kent, Hannah (Book - 2013 )
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
Burial Rites
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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 -- provided by publisher.
Authors: Kent, Hannah, 1985-
Title: Burial rites
a novel
Publisher: New York, NY :, Little, Brown and Company,, 2013
Edition: First North American edition
Characteristics: 322 pages :,map ;,25 cm
Statement of Responsibility: Hannah Kent
Summary: 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 -- provided by publisher.
ISBN: 9780316243919
0316243914
Branch Call Number: FICTION KENT 2013
Subject Headings: Women murderers Fiction Iceland Fiction
Genre/Form: Biographical fiction
Historical fiction
Topical Term: Women murderers
LCCN: 2013014305
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Library Staff

In the Iceland of the 19th Century, people eat lichen soup and sleep on pillows made of seaweed. Agnes, with her sharp mind and beautiful face, has found life as a servant particularly unpalatable. Now she is awaiting her death sentence for murder. (Rachael's fave)

A young woman in 1829 Iceland is sentenced to death for murder, but the execution can't happen until spring, and there is no prison, so she is housed in the home of a farmer and his family. In the close quarters of an Icelandic farm, the family and the purported murderess begin to know each other... Read More »

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 T... Read More »


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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.

Dec 08, 2013
  • InvernessS rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Enjoyed this tale, the writing style & a look into the culture & living of the period. What dismal living conditions, harsh self-righteous religion. Could have been 100 pages shorter.

Nov 10, 2013
  • finn75 rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Fantastically atmospheric novel based in Iceland on true events. You can just feel the cold and the hunger and the desperation of the people. Worth a read.

Oct 09, 2013
  • becker rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

This was fiction based on a true incident. The Icelandic setting gave this book loads of atmosphere and the writing was good. Very intense ending. This was an impressive debut novel.

Oct 07, 2013
  • sjmitra rated this: 2 stars out of 5.

I appreciate the research that went into this and the wealth of details as to location, language and culture. However, the characters seem remote and the details sometimes slow the narrative. A comparison to Margaret Atwood's Alias Grace is inevitable and where I love Atwood's book enough to read it a few times, this one is average.

Oct 01, 2013
  • Bunny_Watson716 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

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.

Evocative. Emotional. Fiction based on fact. Mood strongly influenced by 19th century Icelandic landscape, weather, political and social structures. Wonderful use of language; elaborate research. Hope to read more by this brilliant new author.

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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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Oct 04, 2013
  • becker rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

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Version pocillo (pocillo) Last updated 2014/09/02 11:42