Monday, March 10, 2014

Burial Rites | Hannah Kent

I really enjoy reading first novels, and this one was a great find. Kent is Australian, born in 1985, and has wasted no time in developing her talent.

This novel is the story of the last two people executed in Iceland. Kent has done a huge amount of research and has rendered both the characters and the landscape in a believable and engaging way.

Agnes is to be executed for her involvement in the murder of a leading citizen. She is sent to wait her execution at the home of the District Office and his family for lack of government facilities to house her. The family is horrified at the prospect and unwelcoming.

Agnes is put to work on the small holding and we enter into the lives of this small community through the eyes of the mother, the daughters, Agnes and the priest she is made to talk to. As the story develops we learn of what took place in Agnes' life to lead her to the night of the murder.

In the end, she is executed alongside her accomplice. Was it the right decision?

A worthwhile read, well crafted and very engaging.

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