“This is a gripping book, there’s a good reason for the pages of rave reviews it has received! You’ll really care about Agnes and the haunting images of Iceland will chill you to the bones.” Sinead
“Agnes Magnusdottir is to be hung for murder. Set in Iceland in the early 19th century this powerful and beautifully written novel was shortlisted for the Baileys prize. As we get to know Agnes better, and as the real story becomes known the tension builds towards a devastating climax.” Bob
In northern Iceland, 1829, Agnes Magnusdottir is condemned to death for her part in the brutal murder of her lover. Agnes is sent to wait out her final months on the farm of district officer Jon Jonsson, his wife and their two daughters.
Horrified to have a convicted murderer in their midst, the family avoid contact with Agnes. Only Toti, the young assistant priest appointed Agnes’s spiritual guardian, is compelled to try to understand her. As the year progresses and the hardships of rural life force the household to work side by side, Agnes’s story begins to emerge and with it the family’s terrible realization that all is not as they had assumed.
Based on actual events, Burial Rites is an astonishing and moving novel about the truths we claim to know and the ways in which we interpret what we’re told. In beautiful, cut-glass prose, Hannah Kent portrays Iceland’s formidable landscape, in which 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?