Burial Rites: A Novel
Title: Burial Rites: A Novel
Author: Hannah Kent
“Kent has created a first-rate debut novel with beautiful, lyrical passages and characters true to their historical counterparts. The unforgettable story finds convicted killer Agnes Magnúsdóttir awaiting execution and seeking both a reprieve from her dreadful sentence and the possibility of redemption. Burial Rites is an excellent choice for reading groups, especially those who have enjoyed Margaret Atwood’s Alias Grace.”
—Margaret Donovan, Cary Memorial Library, Lexington, MA
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?