Publisher: Little Brown
Agnes has been convicted of murder and sentenced to death. While waiting for her execution, she is sent to live in isolation on a local farm. The District Officer is expected to house Agnes, and his family is horrified. His wife, and two daughters are told to avoid her at all costs. Toti, the local priest has been chosen to be Agnes’s spiritual guardian, and he tries to understand what went wrong with her to be found in such a circumstance, what was her background. The farmer’s wife and children slowly begin to learn more about Agnes, and realize there is more to her story than they’ve been told.
Burial Rites is a historical fiction read, based on the true story. It's a truly riveting read that will leave you with a heavy heart. Hannah Kent's debut novel, will have readers quickly wrapped up in Agnes story, and want to learn more about her. It’s clear that there’s more to her story, and only time will reveal her secrets.
Burial Rites was very different from the type of books I normally read, it was very dark and heavy but captivating. Historical documents are provided at the beginning of each chapter, and this enhances the read. Agnes was abandoned by her mother, lived a life of poverty, and moved from farm to farm as a parish pauper. Her intelligence pushed people away, and eventually she began to work as a maid. When Agnes falls in love with Nathan, she believes that he truly loves her but his manipulative ways begin to show.
The narration of the story is told from multiple perspectives. Agnes, which may be an unreliable narrator and a third person narrator. Burial Rites was a great read, as a reader, I don’t believe I’ve travelled to Iceland, but this book gave me a great sense of the time and place. Some of the names were difficult to get through, but overall, I enjoyed the book greatly.