‘Burial Rites’ by Hannah Kent – Brief Review

Burial Rites

A superbly written novel about a woman named Agnes and the final months leading to her execution. Set in Iceland in the 1820’s, Kent weaves a tale based on historical fact about the murder of two men in their beds by one man and two women, the latter including Agnes M.

Slowly the thread is pulled and the pages unravel the characters and events surrounding the murders until the reader grows not only fond of Agnes but desperate for her life to be spared. Along with the family Agnes is sent to reside with until she is beheaded, the audience grows attached to the main character and are truly distressed by the injustice of her eventual fate. Kent relies on symbolism heavily but does not complicate the pages with any unnecessary words.

An easy, solid read. Recommended.


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