Burial Rites
by Hannah Kent
Paperback- $10.94

*Soon to be a major motion picture starring Jennifer Lawrence* A brilliant literary debut, inspired by a true story: the final days of a ...

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  "Burial Rites" by Silver's Reviews (see profile) 09/16/13

Marvelous, incredible, beautifully told.

A murderess who must be housed at a farm because there is a financial problem with the prisons? How would you feel about being forced to live with someone who committed murder? Would you feel safe? Would you protest?

Agnes Magnusdóttir was brought to Margret and Jon's home until her execution date. Agnes is required to work as a farmhand in a town that embellishes her murderous deeds more and more each time the tale is told. BURIAL RITES is based on an actual historical event in Iceland.

In alternating voices and flashbacks the author masterfully lets the reader in on the secrets and the story of the murders and of Agnes' life before her conviction and in her current position in the chosen household.

The author also has you questioning if Agnes has been wrongfully accused. Her flashbacks describe the actual murder, her relationship with the deceased, and her earlier life. A life lived in this same town holding her captive.

The writing and prose is exceptional. The book flows beautifully as it describes the harsh life in Iceland and the bitter weather. There is no lull in the narration.

The book's descriptions are amazing. Every minute detail is described beautifully. Even the dreary, tedious life of each character is described so well you see it clearly and are right there sharing their misery. The living conditions were described as on the poverty level but the families had servants....that was a bit confusing.

Everyone was poised to not like Agnes, but as the story unfolded the family became fond of her simply because she was a good person and a good worker. The only person who didn't like her was Lauga, the daughter of Margret and Jon. Margret became comfortable with Agnes and enjoyed having her around. Each of the characters connected well and are marvelously authentic and believable.

BURIAL RITES is a book that you do not want to miss. The book's situation and setting, the writing, and the characters are all phenomenal and come alive through the author's exquisite skill. 5/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation at the BEA by the publisher in return for an honest review.

 
  "Burial Rites" by Silver's Reviews (see profile) 10/01/13

Marvelous, incredible, beautifully told.

A murderess who must be housed at a farm because there is a financial problem with the prisons? How would you feel about being forced to live with someone who committed murder? Would you feel safe? Would you protest?

Agnes Magnusdóttir was brought to Margret and Jon's home until her execution date. Agnes is required to work as a farmhand in a town that embellishes her murderous deeds more and more each time the tale is told. BURIAL RITES is based on an actual historical event in Iceland.

In alternating voices and flashbacks the author masterfully lets the reader in on the secrets and the story of the murders and of Agnes' life before her conviction and in her current position in the chosen household.

The author also has you questioning if Agnes has been wrongfully accused. Her flashbacks describe the actual murder, her relationship with the deceased, and her earlier life. A life lived in this same town holding her captive.

The writing and prose is exceptional. The book flows beautifully as it describes the harsh life in Iceland and the bitter weather. There is no lull in the narration.

The book's descriptions are amazing. Every minute detail is described beautifully. Even the dreary, tedious life of each character is described so well you see it clearly and are right there sharing their misery. The living conditions were described as on the poverty level but the families had servants....that was a bit confusing.

Everyone was poised to not like Agnes, but as the story unfolded the family became fond of her simply because she was a good person and a good worker. The only person who didn't like her was Lauga, the daughter of Margret and Jon. Margret became comfortable with Agnes and enjoyed having her around. Each of the characters connected well and are marvelously authentic and believable.

BURIAL RITES is a book that you do not want to miss. The book's situation and setting, the writing, and the characters are all phenomenal and come alive through the author's exquisite skill. 5/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation at the BEA by the publisher in return for an honest review.

 
  "Burial Rites" by Silversolara (see profile) 10/25/13

Marvelous, incredible, beautifully told.

A murderess who must be housed at a farm because there is a financial problem with the prisons? How would you feel about being forced to live with someone who committed murder? Would you feel safe? Would you protest?

Agnes Magnusdóttir was brought to Margret and Jon\\\'s home until her execution date. Agnes is required to work as a farmhand in a town that embellishes her murderous deeds more and more each time the tale is told. BURIAL RITES is based on an actual historical event in Iceland.

In alternating voices and flashbacks the author masterfully lets the reader in on the secrets and the story of the murders and of Agnes\\\' life before her conviction and in her current position in the chosen household.

The author also has you questioning if Agnes has been wrongfully accused. Her flashbacks describe the actual murder, her relationship with the deceased, and her earlier life. A life lived in this same town holding her captive.

The writing and prose is exceptional. The book flows beautifully as it describes the harsh life in Iceland and the bitter weather. There is no lull in the narration.

The book\\\'s descriptions are amazing. Every minute detail is described beautifully. Even the dreary, tedious life of each character is described so well you see it clearly and are right there sharing their misery. The living conditions were described as on the poverty level but the families had servants....that was a bit confusing.

Everyone was poised to not like Agnes, but as the story unfolded the family became fond of her simply because she was a good person and a good worker. The only person who didn\\\'t like her was Lauga, the daughter of Margret and Jon. Margret became comfortable with Agnes and enjoyed having her around. Each of the characters connected well and are marvelously authentic and believable.

BURIAL RITES is a book that you do not want to miss. The book\\\'s situation and setting, the writing, and the characters are all phenomenal and come alive through the author\\\'s exquisite skill. 5/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation at the BEA by the publisher in return for an honest review.

 
  "Burial Rites" by scotlass66 (see profile) 10/25/13

The further I read, the more I liked this book. Agnes' life was very sad, very compelling and the author does an excellent job of immersing the reader into both the main characters and Iceland. I look forward to another book by Ms. Kent.

 
  "Burial Rites" by pagersp (see profile) 11/22/13

Not one of the people in our group liked the book. They thought it was depressing.

 
  "Very good" by lisjanemon (see profile) 12/27/13

 
  "Good Discussion" by lyndafio (see profile) 01/17/14

Our book club explored many topics relating to the book from corporal punishment to spirituality. It provided a basis for a lively conversation.

 
  "Burial Rites" by nanovsky (see profile) 02/19/14

The story of Agnes, the convicted murderess, is gripping and heartbreaking as each new piece of the puzzle is revealed. The harsh landscape and hard lives of the Icelanders become a major part of the story. We can\\\'t wait for another book from Hannah Kent. Her research and storytelling is amazing.

 
  "Burial Rites" by hernanka (see profile) 03/12/14

All the book club members present at this gathering were impressed with the book. Several thought it moved along rather slowly but they all agreed that the story was really interesting and informative.

 
  "Burial Rites" by bouquet (see profile) 03/13/14

I knew very little about Iceland, so appreciated what I learned from reading the book. Agnes\\\'s story was very depressing and hopeless, giving a vivid description of family life, or lack thereof. However, I felt the story was painfully slow and mundane, not a topic I would have chosen.

 
  "Burial Rites" by Joanie22 (see profile) 03/22/14

I would highly recommend this book as a choice for book clubs to read, I read it in my book club my initial thoughts were I'm not going to enjoy the book I didn't like the sound of it but I was hugely surprised how quickly I was engrossed in the story. Overall excellent read.

 
  "" by janavanwyk (see profile) 04/11/14

 
  "" by cjsolberg (see profile) 04/21/14

 
  "You will take this story to the grave. " by nbaker (see profile) 04/24/14

Burial Rites was a heart-wrenching story of a woman sentenced to death for the murder of her employer/lover. Sending chills up your spine as cold as the Icelandic area in which this story takes place, you cannot help but be left with mixed feelings of compassion and a sense of justice. All actions have a reaction, and who are we to determine what acts are justified or simply self-imposed? Based on a true event, Burial Rites will leaving you begging for more time to say that an eye for eye might possibly need some exceptions. Listen to her story and judge for yourself and in the aftermath remember the old saying, "judge not lest ye be judged."

 
  "Burial Rites" by jackr (see profile) 09/17/14

Our book club liked this book. It's a well written and researched book. She uses her words in a very colorful and descriptive way. We had a good discussion.

 
  "" by happenin heather (see profile) 09/19/14

The year is 1828 and Agnes Magnusdottir, along with two others, has been condemned to die by beheading for the murders of two men. But the government has spent too much money on the axe to be used for the beheadings, and they can't afford the upkeep of the prisoners until their execution. So Agnes is sent from the prison to the home of Jon Jonsson of Kornsa, the District Officer of Vatnsdalur, and his wife Margret. They are ordered, as part of his duty as District Officer, to take charge of Agnes until the date of her execution. The family is not happy about these orders, but feel they have no choice but to perform their duty.

This novel is a fictional story based on actual events. As the author explains in her Author's Notes: "Agnes Magnusdottir was the last person to be executed in Iceland, convicted for her role in the murders of Natan Ketilsson and Petur Jonsson on the night between the 13th and 14th of March 1828, at Illugastadir, on the Vatnsnes Peninsula, North Iceland." Many of the events int he book are drawn from local history and lore.

Little by little, the life of Agnes is laid bare to the reader, and as heartbreaking as it is, you realize that it is nothing uncommon. This is the life of orphans and paupers.

However this novel is uncommon. It's a modest story, slowly pulling you in, absorbing you bit by bit. It is heart-wrenching at moments, and you yearn for Agnes to find some relief from her fear, and to find love and affection.

Agnes is returned to Kornsa, where she had a family for awhile in her childhood, and gains a family again before her death. She was fostered as a young girl by Inga and Bjorn until Inga died.

Agnes requests as her spiritual attendant Assistant Reverend Thorvardur Jonsson, otherwise known as Toti. He is unclear why Agnes has requested him, and is uncomfortable with the assignment. He is still in training, and nervous about attending to a murderess. But he, like the Kornsa family, performs his duty as ordered.

Toti and Agnes form a bond as he permits her to pour out her soul and rehash her past.

One of my few complaints is that I would have liked to have seen more development in the relationships between Agnes and the family members. I would have liked to have felt warmth between them growing, and her opening up to them. Her relationship with them remained rather stilted.


My final word: This was one of those gentle reads, at times so entrancing it is almost hypnotic, like being rocked to sleep. Affective and sensitive, it moved me and it is beautifully lyrical. I would consider this novel to be rare and extraordinary, and it will carry you along to the bitter end, if you allow it, with tears streaming down your face as you take those final steps. But you aren't alone. Agnes is with you.

 
  "" by colleenberg1 (see profile) 10/02/14

 
  "Heart Renching!" by NancyBernhagen (see profile) 09/01/15

This is a beautifully written book about a woman sentenced to die. The family that is \"elected\" to \"house\" her before sentencing learns the true meaning of her character. So sad but a wonderfully written story. My book club absolutely LOVED it. There\'s a lot to discuss in this book!

 
  "" by tilliek1970 (see profile) 11/05/15

 
  "" by ekdanielson (see profile) 11/10/15

 
  "Burial Rites" by elainebrush (see profile) 11/18/15

Very well researched and written.
I didn't want to read it at first, but just reading about the author and her experience in Iceland and how she got turned onto the story really hooked me.

 
  "Sad Story Based on Fact" by ebach (see profile) 01/14/16

Agnes Magnusdottir was the last person to be publicly beheaded in Iceland. She had been convicted, along with two other people, of murder. BURIAL RITES is based on years of research into Agnes's life both before and after the conviction. While the book is a novel, even what Hannah Kent imagined is based on likelihood. Much is true.

While this book has received many five-out-of-five-star ratings, I found the entire book to be depressing so can only give it four. Every bit of this story is sad, but the writing is excellent.

 
  "Awaiting Her Execution" by janetgarstang (see profile) 02/17/16

This moving story of Agnes Mangusdottir, the last person to be executed in Iceland, takes place in 1830. The story, beautifully written, is based on a true story and has been written as factually as possible. The author refers to it as a "speculative biography " in one of her promotional interviews. The story is of the one year time period from sentencing to execution and is extraordinarily sad. The story leading to her conviction is told in flashbacks. The strength of the book is the author's ability to evoke the setting , the history and the culture, so that the reader visualizes the environment and characters.

 
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  "" by Seena (see profile) 09/28/16

 
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  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 07/08/18

 
  "" by Mjuricic (see profile) 09/19/18

 
  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 10/20/18

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