Burial Rites

Front Cover
Picador, 2013 - Australian fiction - 338 pages
Contemporary fiction. SA Author. In northern Iceland, 1829, Agnes Magnusdottir is condemned to death for her part in the brutal murder of two men. Agnes is sent to wait out the time leading to her execution on the farm of District Officer Jon Jonsson, his wife and their two daughters. Horrified to have a convicted murderess in their midst, the family avoids speaking with Agnes. Only Toti, the young assistant reverend appointed as Agnes's spiritual guardian, is compelled to try to understand her, as he attempts to salvage her soul. As the summer months fall away to winter and the hardships of rural life force the household to work side by side, Agnes's ill-fated tale of longing and betrayal begins to emerge. And as the days to her execution draw closer, the question burns: did she or didn't she? Based on a true story, Burial Rites is a deeply moving novel about personal freedom: who we are seen to be versus who we believe ourselves to be, and the ways in which we will risk everything for love. In beautiful, cut-glass prose, Hannah Kent portrays Iceland's formidable landscape, where every day is a battle for survival, and asks, how can one woman hope to endure when her life depends upon the stories told by others?

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
60
4 stars
55
3 stars
11
2 stars
2
1 star
2

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Mrs.Soule - LibraryThing

Well-written and an amazing interpretation of actual events along with the documents attached to them. But so desperately sad. OMG, I should not have read this on a cold, rainy day. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - lisahistory - LibraryThing

If you've enjoyed shows like Hinterland, where people survive in a hostile but familiar environment, you'll like this one. Based on the case of a woman, convicted as a murderer, staying in a house (or ... Read full review

Other editions - View all

About the author (2013)

Hannah Kent was born in Adelaide in 1985. As a teenager she travelled to Iceland on a Rotary Exchange, where she first heard the story of Agnes Magnusdottir. Hannah is the co-founder and deputy editor of Australian literary journal Kill Your Darlings, and is completing her PhD at Flinders University. In 2011 she won the inaugural Writing Australia Unpublished Manuscript Award. Burial Rites is her first novel.

Bibliographic information