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Burial Rites by Hannah Kent
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Burial Rites (edition 2014)

by Hannah Kent (Author)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3,5992733,510 (4.01)371
Set against Iceland's stark landscape, Hannah Kent brings to vivid life the story of Agnes, who, charged with the brutal murder of her former master, is sent to an isolated farm to await execution. Horrified at the prospect of housing a convicted murderer, the family at first avoids Agnes. Only Tóti, a priest Agnes has mysteriously chosen to be her spiritual guardian, seeks to understand her. But as Agnes's death looms, the farmer's wife and their daughters learn there is another side to the sensational story they've heard. . . . BURIAL RITES evokes a dramatic existence in a distant time and place --… (more)
Member:Kendall.and.Mark
Title:Burial Rites
Authors:Hannah Kent (Author)
Info:Back Bay Books (2014), Edition: 1st, 352 pages
Collections:Your library
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Work Information

Burial Rites by Hannah Kent

  1. 100
    Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks (Mopsy)
  2. 50
    Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood (BookshelfMonstrosity)
    BookshelfMonstrosity: The Polished Hoe portrays conditions in 20th-century Jamaica, while Burial Rites focuses on 19th-century Iceland, but these exquisitely detailed literary historical novels explore the lives of unusually intelligent women whose treatment by their masters has resulted in terrible crimes.… (more)
  3. 20
    Slammerkin by Emma Donoghue (BookshelfMonstrosity)
    BookshelfMonstrosity: Although Slammerkin is more suspenseful and richly detailed than the spare, reflective Burial Rites, both character-driven historical novels draw upon true stories of young women accused of murder. Emphasis on the protagonists' impoverished backgrounds allows for exploration of social issues.… (more)
  4. 00
    The Blue Fox by Sjón (tandah)
  5. 00
    The Madness of a Seduced Woman by Susan Fromberg Schaeffer (Bookmarque)
    Bookmarque: Another woman named Agnes, murder and the vulnerabilities created by love.
  6. 00
    Justice Undone by Thor Vilhjalmsson (bluepiano)
    bluepiano: Another novel about murder in 19th-century Iceland that's based on a real case.
  7. 00
    Achtendertig nachten by Janne IJmker (Blogletter)
  8. 00
    Independent People by Halldór Laxness (GerrysBookshelf)
  9. 00
    The Convictions of John Delahunt by Andrew Hughes (BookshelfMonstrosity)
  10. 00
    The Weight of Water by Anita Shreve (vwinsloe)
    vwinsloe: 19th Century murderess in a cold, bleak location.
  11. 00
    Falling Creatures by Katherine Stansfield (Becchanalia)
  12. 00
    The Witchfinder's Sister by Beth Underdown (sturlington)
  13. 00
    A Doll's House by Henrik Ibsen (lucy.depalma)
  14. 01
    The Light Between Oceans by M. L. Stedman (KimarieBee)
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» See also 371 mentions

English (267)  French (2)  Spanish (1)  German (1)  Italian (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (273)
Showing 1-5 of 267 (next | show all)
You know who did what form the beginning, basically,but the poetic writing, and the unfolding of the story behind the murder still hold interest and the characterization and heartfelt, complex interactions between the characters make it well worthwhile ( )
  cspiwak | Mar 6, 2024 |
The best novels transport us to new and unfamiliar places and experiences. Grim, cold, though ultimately warm, and relentlessly brutal, this is one of those novels. I'm looking forward to my next encounter with Hannah Kent. ( )
  simonpockley | Feb 25, 2024 |
Book, I'm breaking up with you. This shouldn't hurt you too much, you have lots of other conquests under your belt, but you're not right for me. The way you were described sounded intriguing, but unfortunately things went poorly from the start, when you came in all romance novel like.
"Hello, young lady." The man looked down at Steina and her filthy skirts with an air of bemusement. "I see I have interrupted you at your chores."...
Blondal slowly rose to his full height. "I have no choice," he said, his voice suddenly low and dangerous. "Your father's title comes with responsibility."
And I don't mind a slow courtship most of the time, but the way you took 100 pages to establish that people in this narrow minded place don't like loose women and "murderesses", a word I could go the rest of my life without ever hearing again following your frequent use of it, without bringing up anything very interesting, didn't establish a reason to overcome my misgivings.

And of course everyone has quirks, but there is one of yours that really bugged me, I must admit. The way you repeatedly began lines of dialogue with a two word sentence consisting of [person's name] [action]. These examples taken from a short conversation covering pages 111-113 will serve to demonstrate what I mean:

"Margret hesitated."
"Ingibjorg sighed."
"Ingibjorg smiled."
"Ingibjorg paused."
"Ingibjorg nodded."
"Margret winced."
"Ingibjorg laughed."
"Margret tittered."
"Margret snorted."

I'm sorry, it's like nails down a chalkboard for me. I just can't do it. I'm moving on with my life. ( )
  lelandleslie | Feb 24, 2024 |
Desolate, expressive, and solemn. I listened to this on audiobook and felt like I was there in Iceland seeing this all in person. Beautiful but in the most wrenching sort of way. ( )
  deborahee | Feb 23, 2024 |
I'm giving this a somewhat reluctant three. It was a little difficult for me to get into the book with the Icelandic names so at the suggestion of a friend I downloaded the audio -- great suggestion!

I finally got into the swing and rhythm of the book about a third of the way through. I appreciated the writing and the mood but was mostly bored by the plot. Some of the scenes involving dreams confused me more than adding something good. I didn't care much for any of the characters but I wanted to. I felt as if I was teased a bit -- just starting to care about them or understand them and then we didn't hear a thing about them again. (I'm thinking about the daughters here and Toti.)

For reasons I can't explain I was surprised by the ending and even MORE surprised by the epilogue. Once I read the epilogue and realized how much of what I read was true, I liked the book quite a bit more. The things that were unsatisfying were easier for me to accept when I understood that they were fact and not decisions made by the author. ( )
  hmonkeyreads | Jan 25, 2024 |
Showing 1-5 of 267 (next | show all)
One of the best “Scandinavian” crime novels I have read, Burial Rites is the work of an Australian who visited Iceland on a cultural exchange.
 
The novel isn't seamless—Ms. Kent disrupts its rhythms by awkwardly switching between an omniscient narrator and Agnes's first-person point of view. But it convincingly animates Agnes, who feels "knifed to the hilt with fate," showing her headstrong humanity and heart-wrenching thirst for life. At one point she recalls seeing two icebergs grinding together off the northern shore, the friction from their exposed boulders causing gathered driftwood to go up in flames. At her best, Ms. Kent achieves a similar eerie force in this story of passion in a frozen place.
 
There are other stylistic problems. Some dialogue that’s meant to seem elevated and of its time simply sounds unidiomatic: “I was worried of as much”; “The only recourse to her absolution would be through prayer.” There’s prefab phrasing — “my heart throbbed,” “she said breathlessly,” “overcome with relief” — and descriptive clichés, including a sky that’s “bright, bright blue, so bright you could weep.”
added by hf22 | editNew York Times, Steven Heighton (Sep 27, 2013)
 
A remarkable story of the last case of capital punishment recorded in Iceland, Burial Rites is the extraordinary debut novel by Australian author Hannah Kent.
 
Burial Rites is a debut of rare sophistication and beauty – a simple but moving story, meticulously researched and hauntingly told.
added by hf22 | editThe Guardian, Lucy Scholes (Aug 25, 2013)
 

» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Hannah Kentprimary authorall editionscalculated
Christie, MorvenNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lubikowski, MartinCartographer.secondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Reignier, KarenTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
I was worst to the one I loved best.

Laxdæla Saga
Dedication
For my parents
First words
They said I must die.
Quotations
His hair is as red as before, as red as the midnight sun. It looks as though his locks have soaked up the light as a skein of wool suffers the dye.
"Do you know the right name for a flock of ravens?"
Tóti shook his head.
"A conspiracy, Reverend. A conspiracy."
A tight fear, like a fishing line, hooked upon something that must, inevitably, be dragged from the depths.
Yes, I am quite alone, and a tremble of exhilaration passes along my skin, like the tremor on the surface of a pot of water about to boil.
At Hvammur, during the trial, they plucked at my words like birds. Dreadful birds, dressing in red with breasts of silver buttons, and cocked heads and sharp mouths, looking for guilt like berries on a bush.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Canonical LCC

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (2)

Set against Iceland's stark landscape, Hannah Kent brings to vivid life the story of Agnes, who, charged with the brutal murder of her former master, is sent to an isolated farm to await execution. Horrified at the prospect of housing a convicted murderer, the family at first avoids Agnes. Only Tóti, a priest Agnes has mysteriously chosen to be her spiritual guardian, seeks to understand her. But as Agnes's death looms, the farmer's wife and their daughters learn there is another side to the sensational story they've heard. . . . BURIAL RITES evokes a dramatic existence in a distant time and place --

No library descriptions found.

Book description
Set against Iceland's stark landscape, Hannah Kent brings to vivid life the story of Agnes, who, charged with the brutal murder of her former master, is sent to an isolated farm to await execution.
Haiku summary
Listen to Agnes
tell her version of events;
but is it the truth?
(passion4reading)
Icy, this path to death.
But the best confessional
Need not involve God.
(captainfez)

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