Set in the early part of the nineteenth century, Burial Rites (based on a true story) plays out against mainly grey seasons and the predominating harsh reality of a bleak Icelandic landscape. Kent has succeeded in painting this background picture in such a manner that it speaks to all the senses, giving the reader the unique experience of being part of the story.
Burial Rites is the story of Agnes Magnúsdottir, who, in 1829, is accused of murder and, with two accomplices, is sentenced to be executed. During the period after the murder, and before the planned execution, Agnes is placed with the family of the District Officer, Jón Jónsson. While following Agnes during this period, the reader slowly becomes acquainted with Agnes's past as she talks with Margrét (Jón Jónsson's wife). How guilty was she, and does she deserve the sentence that has been handed down to her?
Photo of Hannah Kent www.smh.com.au
A suspenseful, thoughtful and well-written novel that remains with the reader long after the last page has been read and the book has been closed.
Because of too many other commitments, I will be posting on this blog only once a week, instead of twice as has been the case. This may change further down the track; however, at the moment, you can expect a new post every Tuesday.