24. Burial Rites: Hannah Kent

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From what I have read, this has received universal rave reviews and I was very much looking forward to reading it. I was not disappointed. It is a dark but moving fictionalised account of the true story of Agnes Magnusdottir, a 19th Century Icelandic servant convicted of murder living out her last days before her execution with a family on a remote farm. Through her inner monologue and the stories she tells the family and the assistant reverend whose company she requests, we learn of her tragic life.

For a first book this is a remarkable achievement. Poetic and evocative, the arduous lives of rural Icelanders are vividly described with intricate detail. It is haunting and involving, you are drawn into Agnes’ world and are willing her to be innocent, and, ultimately, to be reprieved throughout.

5 stars

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