Burial Rites: by Hannah Kent

” I remain quiet. I am determined to close myself to the world, to tighten my heart and hold on to what has not yet been stolen from me… They will see the whore, the madwoman, the murderess, the female dripping blood into the grass and laughing with her mouth choked with dirt. They will say ‘Agnes’ …But they will not see me. I will not be there.”
“The weight of his fingers on mine, like a bird landing on a branch. It was the drop of the match. I did not see that we were surrounded by tinder until I felt it burst into flames.”

Quotations are from “Burial Rites”.
“Burial Rites” is a fictionalised account of the life and last days of Agnes Magnúsdóttir, the last woman executed in Iceland for her part in the murder of two men in 1829. The descriptions of a brutal, bleak landscape are breathtaking. You can almost feel the extreme cold, and wonder at the will power of the characters to survive each day in such a harsh world.
Agnes is portrayed as a complex and haunted character, and as her story unfolds, you begin to gauge the depths of her suffering, and become more amazed at her strength to endure extreme grief and pain.
Brilliant book, gut wrenching in parts, the debut novel of an Australian woman when only in her twenties, the research undertaken for it is formidable.
Highly recommended. 5 ⭐️


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