Read Burial Rites by Hannah Kent Morven Christie Online


*Soon to be a major motion picture starring Jennifer Lawrence* A brilliant literary debut, inspired by a true story: the final days of a young woman accused of murder in Iceland in 1829.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 ex*Soon to be a major motion picture starring Jennifer Lawrence* A brilliant literary debut, inspired by a true story: the final days of a young woman accused of murder in Iceland in 1829.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.Riveting and rich with lyricism, BURIAL RITES evokes a dramatic existence in a distant time and place, and asks the question, how can one woman hope to endure when her life depends upon the stories told by others?...

Title : Burial Rites
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781619699793
Format Type : Audio CD
Number of Pages : 12 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Burial Rites Reviews

  • Chrissie
    2019-05-25 11:58

    I cannot write a review that can do this book justice. This is what goes through my head:* I am so happy I give few books five stars, because then when I run into a book this good my five star rating means something!* You need a strong stomach for this book. I have warned you. * Once you start you will not be able to read or do anything else.* There is NO humor in this book. I always need humor, except NOT here. Don't ask me why! I just didn't need it. I was riveted from start to finish. I needed to understand the relationships that lie at the core of what happened. I was so focused on understanding the why, I didn't have any need for humor. Humor simply doesn't belong in this book. This is Nordic historical fiction of times long past - there is hunger and cold and darkness. That is the way it was. And people living in such difficult times did such twisted things. * The book is NOT spooky, it is atmospheric.* The writing! Similes, metaphors - they are all just perfect. Stunning writing.* You will be moved. Jeez, at the end...... No, not just at the end, all the way through.* And this is very important. Do not read this book. Please, if you possibly can, listen to it. The narration by Morven Christie is totally fantastic. The Icelandic is perfect. The tempo is slow and it must be slow, so you can think about what is being said, so you feel the doom and darkness of the events. This is an excellently written book AND excellently narrated. BOTH! Phew, after this I don't want another Nordic drama for a long time. My emotions cannot take it. I have been through a wringer with this one.I assume you have read the book description, so you know that this story is based on true events. There is a chapter at the end that explains all the research involved. The author closely follows what is known. There are different views of Agnes' behavior, but the author has totally convinced my of what her study of the facts have lead her to believe. This is one of the best books I have read/listened to this year.**************************************After half:I have listened to half now. I still absolutely love it. It has love too. One of the few authors that can feed me a love story and please me immensely. I am convinced Agnes did not kill the man she is accused of killing. But history says she is beheaded for this reason. Remember this is Nordic historical fiction! Now I will say no more. I don't know what will happen in the rest of the book, so I cannot possibly give a spoiler. You read this book for the marvelous atmosphere and the lines. Gorgeous lines! A superb writer.*****************************After 6 chapters:This book is beautifully written. Atmospheric. Nordic historical fiction at its best. The narration by Morven Christie is wonderful too. Don't read it, listen to it. I have only listened to 6 chapters, but there is no way this book can get anything but 5 stars. Hannah Kent is Australian, mentored by Geraldine Brooks! This book is far better than any I have read by Geraldine Brooks, and I am not disparaging Brooks when I say that.

  • Regan
    2019-06-15 10:49

    Bleak but beautiful.

  • Reynje
    2019-05-26 06:38

    “They will say ‘Agnes’ and see the spider, the witch caught in the webbing of her own fateful weaving. They might see the lamb circled by ravens, bleating for a lost mother. But they will not see me. I will not be there.” On 12 January, 1830, the last instance of capital punishment in Iceland occurred when Friðrik Sigurðsson and Agnes Magnúsdóttir were executed in Vatnsdalshólar in Húnavatnssýsla, for the murder of two men. While often painted as “monstrous”, a cold-blooded murderer, a figure of Lady Macbeth style ruthlessness - the truth is that there is a dearth of factual information about Agnes Magnusdottir. While the instrument of her execution – a broad axe – has been preserved, little is known about the life of the woman sentenced to death, and publicly beheaded. (A third person was also convicted: Sigridur Gudmundsdottir, whose sentence was later commuted to life imprisonment).“They said I must die. They said that I stole the breath from men, and now they must steal mine.”Burial Rites is the product of a ten year quest to uncover what remains of Agnes Magnusdottir’s life. Instigated by an exchange visit to Iceland after high school, Hannah Kent spent the ensuing years absorbed in intense archival research, examination of primary sources and retracing of Agnes’ steps from her birth to her final resting place. Kent called the result a “speculative biography”, a weave of fact and fiction, and her own “dark love letter to Iceland.” While Burial Rites presents the question of whether history has misrepresented Agnes, the novel does not necessarily demand sympathy for her. It does, however, offer a more empathetic, albeit ambiguous, portrayal of a woman condemned – and an attempt to understand what circumstances might have led to her conviction in a double murder. The result is an exquisitely beautiful novel. Kent’s prose is rich and clear, rendering the melancholic, claustrophobic atmosphere of the Icelandic winter and Agnes’ impending execution in evocative language. Agnes herself, awaiting death and exiled at the farm of a minor public servant, emerges from the pages vividly.“Those who are not being dragged to their deaths cannot understand how the heart grows hard and sharp, until it is a nest of rocks with only an empty egg in it. I am barren; nothing will grow from me anymore. I am the dead fish drying in the cold air. I am the dead bird on the shore. I am dry, I am not certain I will bleed when they drag me out to meet the axe. No, I am still warm, my blood still howls in my veins like the wind itself, and it shakes the empty nest and asks where all the birds have gone, where have they gone?”Kent writes with a kind of graceful maturity, a depth of emotion that befits the subject matter. This a story about a woman facing her imminent death, a woman with one final opportunity to speak her truth, and Kent captures the desperation, isolation and grief of Agnes with stunning clarity. The book is interspersed with Agnes’ inner monologues, and these sections are the most vivid; pouring forth in a steam of raw psychological pain and striking imagery. Though she spent much of her life employed as a servant and a period of her childhood as an orphaned pauper thrown on the mercy of the parish, there is evidence to suggest that Agnes was also an intelligent and highly literate woman. And this is the version of Agnes that Kent chooses to portray; beneath the hard and icy veneer of a woman reviled and silenced, she is compelling, passionate and astute.While living and working alongside Jón Jónsson and his family, fragments of Agnes’ story begin to emerge. As she confides in Tóti, the young assistant priest commissioned to reconcile her to her fate and to God, Agnes’ version of events takes shape as the remaining days of her life pass. Through this gradual unwinding, Tóti and the family come to confront the idea that the truth may not be all that it seems. While we already know how Agnes’ story ends, it’s this suggestion of dissonance between public opinion and her personal reality that fuel the novel’s tension. Burial Rites suggests that truth is open to interpretation, and is rarely as straightforward as commonly perceived. Fear, gossip and hatred twist the idea of Agnes into something horrifying and loathsome; an opinion no doubt perpetuated by the pervasive social, religious and sexual politics of the time. To this end, Kent’s novel faithfully depicts life in 19th century Iceland, and is immersed in historical detail without the narrative being weighed down or bloated. It is clear that care has been taken to accurately represent the conditions of Agnes’ world, to reconstruct the framework of her life with as much integrity as possible. The gaps in historical record, which Kent has fleshed out with fiction, fit seamlessly within the broader context of time and place, resulting in a story that respects its origins. We cannot know the entirety of Agnes Magnusdottir’s story, but Burial Rites asks us to remember her, if not reconsider how history may have buried her own truth with her body. Knutur Oskarsson, who accommodated Hannah Kent during part of the writing and research of the novel, stated: “I do believe that the execution of Agnes is still an unhealed wound in Iceland, in the history of Iceland.”Burial Rites is a respectful and moving acknowledgment of that wound; a reminder that Agnes Magnusdottir’s voice once existed, even if it was lost to time.

  • PirateSteve
    2019-05-18 09:29

    Well, this ain't Little House On The Prairie; and Toti, I have a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore. Through Hannah Kent's research we are transported to the early 1800's of rural Icelandic farming life. With her considerable talent for writing, more research and her imagination for speculative biography we are privy to the story of Agnes Magnusdottir. Iceland's last female convicted murderer, sentenced to public execution.Agnes has suffered through a life of hardships. Through all that beset her, she remained a hard working woman, intelligent and worthy of anyone's friendship. Yet because of her status as a bastard child and nothing more than a pauper, friendships are virtually nonexistent. Iceland is a cold, cold environment. Provided here is a link to an interview with Ms.Kent that I found interesting. Hannah Kent discusses Burial Rites and speculative biography. 11/12 Toti receives a letter delivered by messenger '"Tell Blondal that I will meet with Agness Magnusdottir.""I'm to be her spiritual advisor." The servant gaped at him, and then suddenly laughed. 'Good Lord," he muttered. "They pick a mouse to tame a cat."'page 81 Agnes contemplations"God has had His chance to free me, and for reasons known to Him alone, He has pinned me to ill fortune, and although I have struggled, I am run through and through with disaster; I am knifed to the hilt with fate." page 87 Toti hears more about Natan Ketilsson.'"He was a sorcerer." The old woman next to him had spoken. The family looked at her." '"He was a sorcerer," she repeated. "And he got what was coming to him." '"Natan Satan, that was his name. Nothing he did ever came from God.'"page 103/104 Agnes/Toti conversation "Agnas shook her head."To know what a person has done, and to know who a person is, are very different things." Toti persisted."But, Agnes, actions speak louder than words." "Actions lie," Agnes retorted quickly. "Sometimes people never stood a chance in the beginning, or they might have made a mistake. It's not fair. People claim to know you through the things you've done, and not by sitting down and listening to you speak for yourself. No matter how much you try to live a godly life, if you make a mistake in this valley, it's never forgotten. No matter if you tried to do what was best. No matter if your innermost self whispers, 'I am not as you say!'-- how other people think of you determines who you are.'" page 192/193 Agnes contemplation . "There is an urgency that comes with slaughter. Why not kill me here, now, on an unremarkable day? It is the waiting that cripples. The sheep scavenge for grass. Do these dumb animals know their fate? Rounded up and separated, they only have to wait one icy night in fear. I have been in the killing pen for months."page 292 Excerpt from execution orders set out by the Secretary to His Royal Majesty, G.Johnson, Copenhagen, Denmark to Hunavatn District Commissioner Bjorn Blondal4.d) "The selected executioner(Gudmundur Ketilsson) shall, at Your Honor's home and with secrecy and encouragement, be trained for the mission that he has been entrusted with. This will be done to ensure, as much as possible, that he, at this important moment, will not lose faith or control. The beheading must be carried out in one blow without any pain for the convicted. Gudmundur Ketilsson must only drink a very little dose of spirits."

  • Catriona (LittleBookOwl)
    2019-06-11 08:40

    So haunting, so beautiful.

  • Hannah Greendale
    2019-06-11 05:32

    It is the early nineteenth century. Agnes Magnúsdóttir is charged with the murder of two men and is delivered to a small house on an isolated farm in northern Iceland, where she must tend to daily chores and seek spiritual guidance from a priest named Toti, while she awaits her execution. 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" and see the spider, the witch caught in the webbing of her own fateful weaving. Burial Rites introduces readers to a setting not often explored in literary works. The harsh winters of Iceland and the life of a farmhand in the early eighteen hundreds is vividly portrayed, with special attention paid to the prevalence of odors and pungent aromas. When his lips broke apart I could see that his teeth were rotting in his mouth. His breath was awful, but no worse than my own; I know I am rank. I am scabbed with dirt and the accumulated weeping of my body: blood, sweat, oil. He had smelt her, then; the sharp pungency of a neglected body, of unwashed clothes and fresh sweat, dried blood and something else from between those spread legs. A stench peculiar to women. This historical fiction novel explores the story of a woman who once existed but was poised to be forgotten to the passing of time. Agnes Magnúsdóttir is reputable for (view spoiler)[ being the last person to be publicly beheaded in Iceland. (hide spoiler)]The book begins with a helpful introduction on the pronunciation of Icelandic names, though they can still be difficult to wrap one's tongue around. Further confusion is added by the author's decision to use multiple variants of characters' names. Lauga, also known as Sigurlaug. Steina, also known as Steinvor. Assistant Reverend Thorvadur Jónsson, also known as Assistant Reverend, also known as Reverend Toti, eventually - and mercifully - known as just Toti.The story jumps from third person perspective to a first person narrative without preamble. This is initially jarring but easily overcome once readers know what to expect moving forward, though the shifting perspectives result in a fair amount of repetition as certain portions of the story are recounted to readers from various character viewpoints. Agnes' story is undeniably sorrowful. They have strapped me to the saddle like a corpse being taken to the burial ground. In their eyes I am already a dead woman, destined for the grave. My arms are tethered in front of me. As we ride this awful parade, the irons pinch my flesh until it bloodies in front of my eyes. I have come to expect harm now. Some of the watchmen at Stora-Berg compassed my body with small violences, chronicled their hatred towards me, a mark here, bruises, blossoming like star clusters under the sin, black and yellow smoke trapped under the membrane. But there's no suspense to her story, because the outcome is already given away to readers who either know her history or make the unfortunate choice to read the book jacket before diving into the book. Characters remain relatively one dimensional throughout, the plot never builds in pacing and, given the inevitable outcome, there's a painful lack of suspense. Lovely writing is employed to tell a somber but predictable tale in this debut novel.

  • Elyse
    2019-06-09 07:32

    The writing is magnificent and fragile from the first sentence....."They said I must die". They said that I stole the breath from men, and now they must steal mine. A 'woman' waits her public execution in Iceland in 1829...faces her mortality. Gloomy, distressing, haunting, and captivating. Off the chart-debut-writing talent for Hannah Kent!!! Incredible story!!!!

  • Nat
    2019-06-01 13:51

    “What sort of woman kills men?”In northern Iceland, 1829, Agnes Magnúsdóttir is condemned to death for her part in the brutal murder of two men.Agnes is sent to wait out the time leading to her execution on the farm of District Officer Jón Jónsson, his wife and their two daughters. Horrified to have a convicted murderess in their midst, the family avoids speaking with Agnes. Only Tóti, the young assistant reverend appointed as Agnes' spiritual guardian, is compelled to try to understand her, as he attempts to salvage her soul. As the summer months fall away to winter and the hardships of rural life force the household to work side by side, Agnes' ill-fated tale of longing and betrayal begins to emerge. And as the days to her execution draw closer, the question burns: did she or didn't she?Based on a true story, Burial Rites is a deeply moving novel about personal freedom: who we are seen to be versus who we believe ourselves to be, and the ways in which we will risk everything for love. In beautiful, cut-glass prose, Hannah Kent portrays Iceland's formidable landscape, where every day is a battle for survival, and asks, how can one woman hope to endure when her life depends upon the stories told by others?That synopsis alone had me enchanted, so you can imagine how much I ended up loving the actual story written by Kent and narrated by the phenomenal Morven Christie. Speaking of, deciding to listen to the audiobook was one of the best ones decisions I made. It helped tremendously in learning how to correctly pronounce Icelandic names and places. And Christie's narration only added to the eerie and gloomy atmosphere of this book. She's purely brilliant in giving the characters their fitting voice, especially the one for Agnes Magnúsdóttir. I would come to anticipate her chapters purely for the fact that Morven Christie's gave her such a richly measured and distinctly calm voice. Plus, when I tried to pick up the book and read it by myself, it just didn't have the same haunting effect.And if you're not convinced after reading this next passage...“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. I cannot let myself slip away. I will hold what I am inside, and keep my hands tight around all the things I have seen and heard, and felt. The poems composed as I washed and scythed and cooked until my hands were raw. The sagas I know by heart. I am sinking all I have left and going underwater. If I speak, it will be in bubbles of air. They will not be able to keep my words for themselves. 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’ and see the spider, the witch caught in the webbing of her own fateful weaving. They might see the lamb circled by ravens, bleating for a lost mother. But they will not see me. I will not be there.”This piece, written with such haunting and hypnotizing detail, completely seized my heart. Which I quickly came to realize would occur more than once throughout Burial Rites. The imagery behind certain pieces in Kent's writing were so evocative, raw and hauntingly powerful, I was left in awe more than once.And I was surprised, though I shouldn't have been, when I grew fond of Agnes Magnúsdóttir with each passing page. It was the little things I noticed that left me under her spell, such as:• Her obsession with foresights, superstitions, omens and ravens. I loved this because it reminded me of my favorite magical realism story, The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton:“And creatures should be loved for their wisdom if they cannot be loved for kindness. As a child, I watched the ravens gather on the roof of Undirfell church, hoping to learn who was going to die. I sat on the wall, waiting for one to shake out his feathers, waiting to see which direction his beak turned. It happened once. A raven settled upon the wooden gable and jerked his beak towards the farm of Bakki, and a little boy drowned later that week, found swollen and grey downriver. The raven had known.”• Speaking of magical realism, I was over the moon when I saw how seriously some characters took their dreams in here, because same!!“‘Reverend,’ she said quietly. ‘If I tell you something, will you promise to believe me?’Tóti felt his heart leap in his chest. ‘What is it you want to tell me, Agnes?’‘Remember when you first visited me here, and you asked me why I had chosen you to be my priest, and I told you that it was because of an act of kindness, because you had helped me across the river?’ Agnes cast a wary glance out to the group of people on the edge of the field. ‘I wasn’t lying,’ she continued. ‘We did meet then. But what I didn’t tell you was that we had met before.’Tóti raised his eyebrows. ‘I’m sorry, Agnes. I don’t remember.’‘You wouldn’t have. We met in a dream.’”I said it once and I'll say it again: This is how you win over my heart in a flash.• Also loved how Agnes didn't give a flying fuck:“‘You called me a child,’ Tóti said.‘I offended you.’ She seemed disinterested.‘I wasn’t offended,’ Tóti said, lying. ‘But you’re wrong, Agnes. Yes, I’m a young man, but I have spent three long years at the school of Bessastadir in the south, I speak Latin and Greek and Danish, and God has chosen me to shepherd you to redemption.’Agnes looked at him, unblinking. ‘No. I chose you, Reverend.’”*Kelis ft Too $hort - Bossy plays in the background, just like when Noora shredded William into absolute pieces with her words in Skam.*• And quickly circling back to the writing, some passages simply left my mind reeling with how seamlessly perfect, dark, and brutally honest they were.Exhibit A:“‘And do you remember her death very well?’Agnes stopped knitting and looked around at the women again. They had fallen silent and were listening. ‘Do I remember?’ she repeated, a little louder. ‘I wish I could forget it.’ She unhooked her index finger from the thread of wool and brought it to her forehead. ‘In here,’ she said, ‘I can turn to that day as though it were a page in a book. It’s written so deeply upon my mind I can almost taste the ink.”Exhibit B:“‘But, Agnes, actions speak louder than words.’‘Actions lie,’ Agnes retorted quickly. ‘Sometimes people never stood a chance in the beginning, or they might have made a mistake. When people start saying things like she must be a bad mother because of that mistake . . .’When Tóti said nothing in response she went on.‘It’s not fair. People claim to know you through the things you’ve done, and not by sitting down and listening to you speak for yourself. No matter how much you try to live a godly life, if you make a mistake in this valley, it’s never forgotten. No matter if you tried to do what was best. No matter if your innermost self whispers, “I am not as you say!” – how other people think of you determines who you are.’”If there's one thing that I'm sure of, it's that Hannah Kent can write like nobody’s business.• On that note, I have to mention the memory Agnes was talking about in the first exhibit, because I cannot stop thinking about it ever since I read it. Agnes describing the death of her foster-mother during birth... it was painful and tragic and vivid, and I’m still speechless that it all occurred during a storm.“‘It’s strange,’ Agnes said, using her little finger to wind the wool about the needle head. ‘Most of the time when I think of when I was younger, everything is unclear. As though I were looking at things through smoked glass. But Inga’s death, and everything that came after it . . . I almost feel that it was yesterday.’”I hardly released a breath while Agnes recalled this memory. This whole chapter messed me up... AND NOW I CAN’T STOP THINKING ABOUT IT. Those were some masterful storytelling skills on the author's part.• Side note: Iceland is one of my top places to visit, so I was beyond ecstatic to explore it through words. And the author did a beyond phenomenal job of bringing the place to life. Also, I loved getting to know a bit of history on the place and its customs. (P.S. this photo essay of the places Kent wrote about was great to look into after reading.)• And one last thing I want to discuss: that ending... I knew what was coming, but that didn't help ease the pain in the least when what happened, happened. My heart ached even more when we got to see Agnes growing closer to the members of the family at the farm of Kornsá. Margrét in particular was like the mother figure she'd never had. And so their goodbyes consequently broke my heart into tiny little pieces.“Margrét is reaching out to me and she takes my hand in hers, clasps my fingers so tightly that it hurts, it hurts.‘You are not a monster,’ she says. Her face is flushed and she bites her lip, she bites down. Her fingers, entwined with my own, are hot and greasy.‘They’re going to kill me.’ Who said that? Did I say that?‘We’ll remember you, Agnes.’ She presses my fingers more tightly, until I almost cry out from the pain, and then I am crying. I don’t want to be remembered, I want to be here!‘Margrét!’‘I am right here, Agnes. You’ll be all right, my girl. My girl.”MY GIRL. I had to stop myself from crying at this point. (Still, as I'm writing this.) If one thing's for sure, this beautiful, all-consuming novel about family, secrets, and murder won't be leaving my mind for awhile.Plus, listening to this emotional song really got me further into the story.Note: I'm an Amazon Affiliate. If you're interested in buying Burial Rites, just click on the image below to go through my link. I'll make a small commission!This review and more can be found on my blog.

  • Helen Ροζουλί Εωσφόρος Vernus Portitor Arcanus Ταμετούρο Αμούν Arnum
    2019-06-15 06:49

    "Το ύφος στο πρόσωπο του δεν ήταν χλευαστικό. Έδειχνε,όμως περιφρόνηση. Με περιφρονούσε - και το διασκέδαζε. Ένα ξαφνικό βάρος απελπισίας κι απώλειας έπεσε πάνω μου. Και οριστικά,αμετάκλητα,η θλίψη με έλιωσε. "Αυτό το απόσπασμα του βιβλίου στη συγκεκριμένη στιγμή -έχοντας διαβάσει απο πριν την εξαθλιωμένη ζωή και το ξεγύμνωμα της ψυχής της Άγκνες με ωμές περιγραφές και σκηνικά να εκτυλίσσονται σε παγωμένα και άγρια μέρη της Ισλανδίας- με έκανε να αισθανθώ την κατάφορη αδικία,τον πόνο,την ερημιά και την εγκατάλειψη που αισθανόταν η ίδια πριν το φρικτό εκείνο βραδυ που έκλεψε την ανάσα άλλων ανθρώπων και τώρα πρέπει και αυτοί να κλέψουν τη δική της. Έπρεπε να πεθάνει. Μια ιστορία γεμάτη συναρπαστικές περιγραφές που αφορούν το χρονικό ενός προαναγγελθέντος θανάτου αλλα κυρίως αποτυπώνονται με τρομερά ρεαλιστικό τροπο σχεδον άγριο- οι νοοτροπίες,τα συναισθήματα,οι δεισιδαιμονίες,οι κλίμακες ηθικών αξιών,οι σκληρές συνθήκες διαβίωσης των φτωχών ανθρώπων και γενικότερα οι θεοφοβουμενες οικογενειακές και οι επιφανειακές-επίπλαστες κοινωνικές δομές,στην Ισλανδια του 19ου αιώνα. Όταν αρχίζει να μέτραει αντίστροφα η φρίκη του τέλους κανεις δεν ειναι ικανός,κανεις δεν προσπαθεί έστω και μάταια να τα βάλει με το κατεστημένο και να σταματήσει το ρολόι του θανάτου. Ακόμη και όσοι γνωρίζουν ή μπορούν να επικαλεστούν μια άλλη αλήθεια λιγότερο κατασκευασμένη και ψεύτικη. Ακόμη και αυτοί που η παγωνιά του τόπου τους δεν έχει περάσει στην ψυχή τους ειναι απλοί μοιρολάτρες και συνένοχοι,σαν βοηθοί θανάτου!!Καλή ανάγνωση!

  • Chelsey
    2019-06-10 13:59

    I have literally just closed the covers on this book and my heart feels heavy. A novel based on true events and characters, Burial Rites tells the story of Agnes Magnusdottir; a woman condemned to death for the murder of her employer. This was a haunting read; from the eerie prose, dripping in darkness, to the ravens that constantly circle the farms, waiting for a sign of vulnerability from the animals. Hannah Kent creates the atmosphere of rural Iceland in the 1800's with flawless accuracy. I could feel the chill in my bones from the winter winds, and the tiny bits of heat from the kitchen that drift into the rooms as Agnes tells her story to Reverend Toti.And though these characters lived hundreds of years ago, they felt extraordinarily alive to me. Agnes, the family who hold her prior to her execution, the ghosts of her life before the murder and of course, the young Assistant Reverend who is given the task of preparing Agnes for her death.This was good. Very good.

  • Amalia Gavea
    2019-06-04 08:45

    When you already know how a story ends and yet, you find yourself agonizing over the fate of its protagonists willing for History to change direction, it says a lot about the writer's talent to make you so interested in the novel that you deny reality. This is what happens with Hannah Kent's Burial Rites.The haunting, almost harrowing, landscape of Iceland becomes a character as significant as Agnes, Tóti, Natan and Margret. Each character springs out of the pages and right into your soul. Agnes' voice is full of dignity and beauty, even when she momentarily gives in to despair. Margret is strength and determination, Tóti is compassion and Natan is love as a destructive force.Burial Rites is one of the best books in the Gothic Crime fiction genre, a genre that is rejuvenated by authors like Hannah Kent and Cecilia Ekbäck.

  • B the BookAddict
    2019-06-15 05:55

    In 1829, Jon Jonsson is tasked with housing condemned murderer Agnes Magnusdottir at his family farm while she awaits her execution. Margret, Jon’s wife, has steeled herself and their two daughters to support Jon in his unenviable position. She is unprepared for the moment her resolve softens when she meets the prisoner for the first time.“The criminal wore what seem to be a servant’s common working dress of roughly woven wool, but one so badly stained and caked with dirt that the original blue dye was hardly discernible under the brown grease that spread across the neckline and arms. A thick weight of dried mud pulled the fabric awkwardly from the woman’s body. Her faded stockings were soaked through, sunk around the ankles, and one torn, exposing a slice of pale skin. […] Her hair was uncovered by a cap and matted with grease. […] There was a yellow bruise that spread from her chin down the side of her neck.”The young Assistant Reverend Thorvardur (Toti) Jonsson has the role of Agnes’s spiritual advisor to help her prepare for her death and meeting with her creator. While, at first, Toti feels totally unequal to the task, his growing knowledge of Agnes and her life spurs him on with confidence. Both he, and the Jonsdottir family will learn of Agnes’s early life as a ward of the parish, then a lifetime spent always in servitude. Her help around the farm and her humble words will force them all to change their initial reactions to the prisoner.Kent’s description of the 1800s Icelandic rural area will whisk you away from your current time and place and plant you firmly in the harsh yet beautiful countryside. The short summer, the haymaking season, collecting the berries and herbs, the planting season and the long, severe winters; these all come to life with the astounding eloquence of Ms Kent.Literary awards for Burial Rites: International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award Nominee for Shortlist (2015), Guardian First Book Award Nominee (2013), Australian Book Industry Award (ABIA) for Literary Fiction (2014), Goodreads Choice Nominee for Historical Fiction (2013), Women's Prize for Fiction Nominee (2014) Specsavers National Book Award Nominee for International Author of the Year (2014)For my part, Hannah Kent’s debut novel is Highly Recommended, truly a 5★ read.

  • Julie
    2019-06-02 11:51

    Burial Rites by Hannah Kent is a 2013 Little, Brown and Company publication. This story is mind-boggling and perhaps a little overwhelming at times. As the blurb states, this story is inspired by true events that took place in Iceland in 1829-30.Agnes, is convicted of murdering two people, one of whom was her lover, then sentenced to be executed by beheading.She is sent to live out the remainder of her days on an isolated farm with a family forced to take her in because of a lack of prisons, and who are mortified, and even terrified, of having her under their roof. Also, in tow is a young priest, Toti, who Agnes chose, specifically, to be her spiritual guide as she faces her imminent death. This book came to my attention recently, and although I knew it would end badly, the book has achieved so many accolades, I decided to give it a try anyway.I’m so glad I did. The author did an incredible job of fictionalizing Agnes’ story, capturing the bleak and barren Icelandic terrain and atmosphere, while aptly describing the stark living conditions, and superstitions of the day.I thought I had emotionally prepared myself for what was to come, but I wasn’t expecting such an amazing story, which humanizes Agnes, and allows the full story to emerge, while Agnes works on the farm and eventually carves a niche for herself with the family who so reluctantly took her in. Toti is also a terrific character, so open minded with Agnes, who listened to her with a sympathetic ear, not all together convinced of her guilt. In the end, despite the lack of reprieve for Agnes, she’s able to hold her head up, to feel supported, comforted, and is at least spiritually exonerated by her priest and by others who surrounded her in those final harrowing days. So, all my emotional preparedness was for naught. I ended up swallowing a huge lump in my throat, and felt nearly gutted by the time I turned the final page. This book is obviously well researched and is exceptionally well written. Although the story is very sad, and the atmosphere is often heavy and depressing, the ending is still touching and uplifting in its way. Although, I do enjoy historical fiction, this is not the type of book I typically chose, but I am glad I stumbled across it and gave it a chance. This is a riveting novel historical fiction fans will not want to miss.

  • Raeleen Lemay
    2019-06-13 09:40

    The writing was beautiful and as far as novels go this is one of the most atmospheric that I've read, but it just wasn't enough for me to love the book. The story itself is pretty sad (which I'm fine with) but there wasn't really enough going on plot-wise, or character-wise, for me to properly enjoy the book. The intrigue that I felt at the very beginning sort of petered away as the story went on, but I definitely loved the beginning!

  • Maureen
    2019-06-08 06:39

    Five stars with bells on! It is rare to find a debut novel as sophisticated, beautiful, and gripping as this one. The desolation of the harsh Icelandic winter is felt in the very bones, it's so hauntingly descriptive. The feelings of despair & the depth of fear are such, that I was almost holding my breath at times. I resented any intrusion that halted my reading of this book, that's how gripping I found it. Hannah Kent has announced her arrival in the literary world with an absolute gem of a book, which just flows from first page to last . Stunning!

  • Dem
    2019-06-01 06:58

    Just finished reading Burial Rites for the 3rd time (Book Club Choice) and its still manages to pack a punch third time around. This is one of my 10 ten favourite books as it is just so well written and so atmospheric. Burial Rites is the extraordinary haunting debut novel by Hannah Kent an Australian Writer. This book is set in Iceland in 1829 and tells the story of Agnes Magnusdottir who was found guilty of murdering her employer as he slept. She was condemned to death. She was the last person to be public executed in Iceland and this book is based on true events.I read an interview with the author and she spent two years researching this story and the back round information to this story benefits greatly from this research as not only do we learn the what happened to Agnes we learn about a place, its peoples the customs and traditions or the time, their religious beliefs and the beautiful and harrowing landscape is described so well that you get a wonderful sense of time and place from Kent's writing. This is something I appreciate in a story as it enhances the book and the reader learns something about a place and time with which they may not be familiar.Kent's powerful and beautiful prose takes a story that could have been depressing and gives it a wonderful haunting feel to it and reminded me of the feeling I had when I read Wuthering Heights. I loved the tone of the story and as I listened to this as an audio book, the narration was perfect for the story and really made an excellent audio book. I especially enjoyed the pronunciation of surnames of people and places in the story and the explanation that was at the beginning of the book. I am not a big fan of audio books as I much prefer to read a book but the narrator really was excellent. I will probably buy the paperback version someday just to read it again.I loved how the author gives you the story from different points of view and you find yourself immersed in Agnes telling of her story as imagined by the author. I think I can see how Hannah Kent was so taken with Agnes and the events of 1829.Burial rites is a thought provoking and deeply moving story and I would highly recommend it but it may not please everybody as it is not an uplifting story and some may find it rather dark.It made a terrific book club read as plenty to discuss and very thought provoking. I have also read The Good People by Hannah KentThe Good People and rated it 3 stars.

  • Emma
    2019-06-10 10:58

    'I am run through and through with disaster; I am knifed to the hilt with fate.'Poor Agnes! This was a very well told story: evocative descriptions of the landscape, the farmers of Iceland and their tough life style...I have read a lot of historical fiction, but never one set in this time and place, so the details of Icelandic farming in the 1800s were fascinating. Brutal conditions and yet (said from the comfort of my centrally heated home and with my on line food order on its way) there would be something satisfying about a life filled with the tasks of survival and self sufficiency...the benefits of living where the eider ducks nest; where the seals congregate (seal skin shoes); the bonus of a whale beached on a neighbour's shore ;slaughter day, where it's all hands on deck to utilise every part of the sheep; the seasonal and unceasing work to provide for your family.And then of course, the story we hear of Agnes' unfortunate life and involvement in a double murder and resulting execution. I felt particularly sorry for this woman, who had never really had any friends or family, had lived as a pauper, foster child, maid without any meaningful or lasting relationships- who ironically and poignantly connects with the family who house her until her execution.Recommended.

  • Debra
    2019-06-03 05:32

    Outstanding debut novel by Kent. I thought this was wonderfully written and the story captivating. I did not mind the change in voice. I found it enriched the story and was not confusing. This novel is based on a true story set in Iceland. A story of Agnes, a woman charged with the murder (along with 2 other servants) of her former employer. After being imprisoned and beaten she is sent to live with a family while waiting for her execution. Horrified at the prospect of housing a convicted murderer, the family at first avoids Agnes but slowly warm up to her. Agnes is visited by a priest whom she has requested to be her spiritual guardian. He allows her to tell her story in hopes of making her time left tolerable and in an attempt to understand her and her life. As her execution date gets closer, the farmer's wife and their daughters learn there is another side to the sensational story they've heard. Beautifully written. Highly recommend.See more of my reviews at

  • Diane
    2019-05-20 09:36

    Brrr! This wintry novel about a woman accused in the 1828 murders of two men in northern Iceland was filled with shiver-inducing descriptions of the harsh, yet beautiful, rural landscape. Even though I was reading this on a warm summer day, the chilly language made me think about reaching for a shawl.Hannah Kent, who is from Australia, says she became interested in the true story of Agnes Magnusdottir when she traveled to Iceland in 2003. Agnes was the last person in the country to be executed. She was beheaded in 1830 for her role in the murders of Natan Ketilsson and Petur Jonsson. Kent researched the facts of the case and has written a compelling version of what might have happened while Agnes was awaiting her execution. Kent's prose is lovely and so descriptive that you feel as if you are in that remote Icelandic village. The novel is a bit slow to start, but picks up when Agnes is transferred to a farmer's home to await her fate, and a compassionate reverend starts to visit her. Agnes is reticent at first, but eventually opens up and discusses her past and her relationship with the murdered men."I remain quiet. I am determined to close myself to the world, to tighten my heart and hold what has not yet been stolen from me. I cannot let myself slip away. I will hold what I am inside, and keep my hands tight around all the things I have seen and heard, and felt. The poems composed as I washed and scythed and cooked until my hands were raw. The sagas I know by heart. I am sinking all I have left and going underwater. If I speak, it will be in bubbles of air. They will not be able to keep my words for themselves. 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' and see the spider, the witch caught in the webbing of her own fateful weaving. They might see the lamb circled by ravens, bleating for a lost mother. But they will not see me. I will not be there."While overall I liked the book, one of my complaints was that Kent would switch between third-person and Agnes' first-person perspective, and some of the changes were so jarring and abrupt (with no visible page break) that I sometimes had to backtrack and reread paragraphs to make sense of what I was reading. This is Kent's first novel, and this kind of structural messiness should have been fixed by an editor. I think the whole story could have been efficiently told from third person, OR the shifts between the perspectives should have been telegraphed better. Kent does get credit for including a pronunciation guide for Icelandic letters at the beginning of the book, which was helpful.But this feels like quibbling in what was a mostly enjoyable read. I liked the relationship between Agnes and the reverend, and how the feelings of the farmer's family, which were at first hostile to hosting a prisoner, slowly changed over time as Agnes proved herself a useful worker. I also liked the glimpse into the workings of a 19th-century village and the differences between the homes of the poor farmers and those of the wealthy commissioner. I would recommend "Burial Rites" to fans of historical fiction or anyone who would appreciate this "dark love letter" to Iceland.

  • PattyMacDotComma
    2019-06-06 10:57

    Another UPDATE Iceland is revisiting the circumstances of the trial. Fascinating stuff! Have a look. On 16 August 2017, the author added a video about the book to her website: video itself is here:★+“Rósa’s poetry kindled the shavings of my soul, and lit me up from within.”Hannah Kent writes about a dark, forbidding time in an unforgiving landscape, but she shines her light into the shadows and into the hearts of some of the most remarkable people you’re likely to meet in literature. I loved it. Loved the writing, the story, the freezing, blizzards. “You, Agnes Magnúsdóttir, have been sentenced to death. You, Agnes. Agnes. They don’t know me. 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. I cannot let myself slip away.”Agnes and a young couple have been found guilty of murder, and she has been kept locked up alone in a stinking, freezing cell, treated as something of a witch. She is skilled with herbs and potions from working with the man she's accused of murdering. “I’ve been half-frozen for so long, it is as though the winter has set up home in my marrow.”But when she remembers the beauty of an Icelandic summer, we understand what keeps the people there. “And I close my eyes and I imagine the valley in the long days of summer, the sun warming the bones of the earth until the swans flock to the lake, and the clouds lifting to reveal the height of the sky: bright, bright blue, so bright you could weep.”She’s eventually dragged outdoors in bitter cold rain to be taken to stay on a farm until her execution. The open air is a relief in spite of the weather.“And it was raining. How can I say what it was like to breathe again? I felt newborn. I staggered in the light of the world and took deep gulps of fresh sea air. It was late in the day: the wet mouth of the afternoon was full on my face. My soul blossomed in that brief moment as they led me out of doors. I fell, my skirts in the mud, and I turned my face upwards as if in prayer. I could have wept from the relief of light.”She’s taken to a farm family, who are reluctant to take her in, but the father is a minor officer of some sort and must accept this assignment. The wife is obviously ill with a lung disease, the two daughters are nearly adults, and the parents are worried Agnes is dangerous, so at first they chain her to a bed.The state decides the condemned prisoners should be given religious instruction in order to repent and prepare to meet their fates, and Agnes has requested a particular young assistant priest who was once kind to her. He is an awkward, earnest young fellow who doesn’t remember her, and he’s completely unready but is determined to try. On one of his first visits“. . . he was pleased that he’d managed to remember to say ‘spiritual comfort’. It sounded paternalistic, and self-assured, as though he was in a lofty state of spiritual certainty: a state he felt he should be in, but had a vague, discomfiting sense that he was not.”The point of view varies but is never confusing. Agnes trusts us with her story in the first person, but because of past experience with the courts, she doesn’t reveal everything to the kindly reverend. “They did not let me say what happened in my own way, but took my memories of Illugastadir, of Natan, and wrought them into something sinister; they wrested my statement of that night and made me seem malevolent. Everything I said was taken from me and altered until the story wasn’t my own.. . . It’s a silent memory, and one, like the others, I can’t quite trust. Memories shift like loose snow in a wind, or are a chorale of ghosts all talking over one another. There is only ever a sense that what is real to me is not real to others, and to share a memory with someone is to risk sullying my belief in what has truly happened.”Gradually, Agnes describes her life as a bastard and pauper in early 1800s Iceland – a life that would have broken a lesser person. The young priest is horrified but feels it’s more important to let her talk rather than try to preach to her. We learn more from her musings than she tells him, partly because of what she said her words being twisted, but also because she realises how sensitive and innocent he is and that he seems to genuinely care about her.I found the day-to-day life of the farm fascinating, the details about catching and salting fish, smoking mutton, using every little piece of the sheep (as Native Americans were famous for using every bit of buffalo). And the storeroom – the place where food was kept frozen all winter, and in one case, the dead body of a mother and baby that have to wait for summer burial! Influencing everything is the land - Iceland itself. Long winters, a lot of freezing rain and wet, muddy clothes to clean and dry by a dung or peat fire. A window could have been a bit of stretched fish skin or sheep’s bladder. Hardly weather protection. Roof and walls were probably turf, which kept dropping dirt and grass into the rooms. “Only the wind speaks and it will not talk sense, it screams like the widow of the world and will not wait for a reply.”There is no thought of escape – well, only a fleeting one.“I would only be trading one death sentence for another. Up in the highlands blizzards howl like the widows of fishermen and the wind blisters the skin off your face. Winter comes like a punch in the dark. The uninhabited places are as cruel as any executioner.”I am glad Hannah Kent was an exchange student in Iceland and was so captivated by the sagas and history that she threw herself into the research necessary to produce a work like this. It is nothing short of astounding. She has added some interesting photos about the story and the location, but the badstofa (living/sleeping room) depicted is a far cry from the book’s turf room from which all the boards had been removed. There are a couple here that look very like a loft in a Norwegian log cabin I loved.

  • Iryna (Book and Sword)
    2019-05-20 07:58

    4.5/5stars(rounded up) For a full review please visit my my book blogThere's going to be a movie and Jennifer Lawrence will play Agnes. I'm not sure how I feel about that as Lawrence will always be Katniss Everdeen to me. But she is a great actress, so I am still excited for this story to be told through a movie If you are looking for a fast paced, action packed, sinister novel - this book is NOT for you. This is a novel about a woman sentenced to die. Her days are recollected and described in painful agony of everyday tasks as she waits to be slaughtered. And I honestly cannot recommend it enough! I feel like this is such an important book to read, and I am very surprised that more people are not talking about it. “They see I’ve got a head on my shoulders, and believe a thinking woman cannot be trusted.”I got some very nice feminism vibes from it. I am not labeling this as a feminist book, no, but the vibe is definitely there, lurking just beneath the surface. “No matter if you tried to do what was best. No matter if your innermost self whispers, ‘I am not as you say!’—how other people think of you determines who you are.”​It is 1900 in cold and isolated area of Iceland. Surviving is hard, but surviving as a woman is even harder.If a woman is not wed by the age of 20 she is disposed in the eyes of a society as unwanted, faulty and too old.​If a woman is forced to give herself to a man who overpowers her she is viewed as too loose in the skirts.If a woman is intelligent and knows how to read she is labeled as a witch. So why only 4.5 and not 5stars? I've felt a bit unfinished. Like something in me wasn't quenched after I turned the last page. I wanted more of a resolution. I wanted more of people's reactions and actions. The blurb also claims the novel to be a telling of the last execution in Iceland - I wanted to know why it was the last one. How it came to a stop? I've had many questions and I was sad not to see them answered. “I've been half-frozen for so long, it is as though the winter has set up home in my marrow.”___________________________________________Pre-reviewJust checked this out from a library.You know how in summer time people like to read fun and beachy reads?Well, apparently depressing, haunting and bleak is my summer jam. Because those are the books I have been gravitating towards the most recently.____________________________________________My WEBSITEMy INSTAGRAMMy WORDPRESS BLOG

  • Avidreader
    2019-05-18 09:41

    I loved the sense of time and place, the details of life in rural 19th century Iceland. But I thought the characterisation was too easy, too obvious. Kent states in the notes that she wanted to provide a more ambiguous portrayal of Agnus, who has historically been branded as evil. But Agnus from this book is too good, too normal. Her situation is bad, but her character is one a modern reader can easily sympathise with. She is intelligent, a hard worker, attractive in an interesting way (but not in a mainstream way), society treats her badly but she battles on. There is really no ambiguity, Agnus is a good person facing bad circumstances. There are hints that Agnus chooses what facts to reveal, suggesting she may be manipulative, but nothing is done with this. At the end, there is a detail in her version of the crime that doesn't fit with what we're told by Blondal at the start. A hint that she is lying perhaps. But the author doesn't actually paint a picture of a conflicted, complicated person.Kent's desire to give this historical figure a fair go, to see her in the best possible light, only extends to Agnus's character. The other two convicted of the same crime are caricatures, Siggy the pretty, dumb girl and Fridrick, the rough crim. Characters like the District Commissioner Blondal, the reverend and his father, the father and daughters at Kornsa, are only slightly more than stereotypes. Margret is more 'filled in' and interesting.In my humble opinion, the writing is self conscious, overly lyrical. Figures of speech feel forced sometimes, although imaginative. The use of symbols is again forced (eg ravens). It's an enjoyable read. But if you're looking for something insightful, unique, brilliant, this is not it.

  • Maxine (Booklover Catlady)
    2019-06-05 08:50

    Sublime. Astonishing. Beautiful. Two things astound me about this book, the first is that it is Hannah Kent's first novel. Simply put, it's a masterpiece. The second is that the novel is based on a true story.The novel is atmospheric and beautiful, sad, sorrowful and pitiful moments are all the way through it, yet there is also kindness, warmth and courage. It's an incredible book.It's set in Iceland in 1829-1830, a barren and unforgiving place and time to live. Agnes does not have long to live however as she is condemned to death for her part in the murder of her lover. Agnes was the last person to be executed in Iceland in real life.She is sent under orders to stay out her final days with the family of Jon Jonssen, under a form of house arrest, the book delicately rolls out the relationship between Agnes as prisoner and the family who's home she stays in. The dynamics that develop make the book so intriguing to read. Should they be kind to a woman charged with murder?The book is almost lyrical, it flows, it is a piece of magic on the bookshelves, it's quite sublime. This is not an action packed book, it's a book that focuses on the complexities and hardship of life and matters of the heart, it's essentially beautiful.As for the ending? It ripped my heart out slowly and bled tears, I was tormented with grief knowing this really happened. It's powerfully written yet does not gloss over the intense tragedy. I don't ever hardly cry reading a book, I remember on less that one hand which ones I did.This book should be on the English School Curriculum for Senior students. And good for book groups too.Loved it, just loved it. But so sad.For more of my heartfelt honest reviews head over to my Reviews Book Blog page on Facebook.

  • Agnieszka
    2019-06-10 07:42

    Burial ritesby Hannah Kent is a fine example of how fiction can be successfully combined with historical facts. The story told here took place in the late twenties of nineteenth century and the novel is not as much an attempt to reconstruct these events as giving the floor Agnes Magnúsdóttir, last woman sentenced to death in Iceland. Who was she ? Merciless killer and cunning manipulator, Lady Macbeth of the fjords country ? Haughty egoist, hungry for life beyond own means ? Or abandoned orphan, a landless work maid raised on a porridge of moss and poverty? Lonely and betrayed woman, thirsty for a little human touch and stabilization, tossing like a hot potato from one farm to another ?Kent perfectly captures the mood of despondency and general poverty. Badstofas, kind of living and sleeping room are gloomy and claustrophobic, with the whole family staying in them together ; there is no place for an intimacy or privacy. People are hard and austere, but not for cruelty, it is life itself that is hard on them. They're forced to labour in the unwelcoming climate to snatch from an infertile soil its fruits. Winters here are snowy and so severe that people who died in that season had to be stored in the chambers until spring thawed the ground out enough that one could dig the grave. Icelandic landscape, bleak and remote, fogbound and bathed in rain, is harshly beautiful. The author did a meticulous research of Agnes’ case and deftly included into her text fragments of authentic documents. Prose, told in third person narration, is restrained and deprived from any embellishments; only parts devoted to Agnes we get from first person perspective through her inner monologue. Portrait of Agnes as it slowly unfolds before our eyes is ambigious and unsettling . Murderess, slut, witch, orphan, victim ? Jealous, uppity, obliging, literate, timid ? Who are you, Agnes ? Tell me !They will see the whore, the madwoman, the murderess, the female dripping blood into the grass and laughing with her mouth choked with dir. They will say ‘Agnes’ and see the spider, the witch caught in the webbing of her own fateful weaving. They might see the lamb circled by ravens, bleating for a lost mother. But they will not see me. I will not be there .Small monument on the spot of the last execution in Iceland .

  • Melissa
    2019-06-06 09:44

    I had a vivid dream a week or so ago. I was at the top of a giant tower. For some reason I had been there all day and I desperately wanted to go home as I was incredibly tired. I crowded into the lift with a handful of other people, none of whom I knew, and we began to make our descent to the ground floor. I remember the dream vividly. Suddenly the elevator jolted and we began to plummet to the ground. As the force of the fall flung me to the roof of the small enclosure, I KNEW I only had mere seconds to live. I immediately thought of my husband and my son, and the reality that I would never see my son grow up came into my mind. I knew I only had seconds left. We were falling, falling down, like on some tremendous rollercoaster. I made peace at that moment, quickly reflected on my life and I pictured my smiling son's face in my mind and knew that this would be my last moment on earth. We hit bottom. I awoke with a start, sweat pouring down my face, and I could hear my son laughing in the other room with his dad. I cant even begin to describe the relief that poured into me then. The dream had been so real.I only write about my experience last week because when I began to listen to the audio version of Burial Rites it reminded me of my dream. The darkness that Agnes endures, was like my seconds in the elevator, but drawn out so, so much longer. What an incredible book. The dark haunting atmosphere of this book will no doubt stay with me for a long time to come, and I imagine will always remind me of that brief instant in a dream elevator where my life was ending.Loosely based on a true story, Burial Rites is the story of Agnes, the last person in Iceland to be put to death for murder. She is sent to a family at a farmhouse to serve the remainder of her sentence before her execution, much to the family's discontent. There, she receives spiritual guidance from Toti, a priest in training. Slowly she begins to open up to Toti, and the family about her history, her life, and what happened that fateful night that she was accused of killing two men in cold blood. Slowly the truth begins to unravel, and the family begins to realise that Agnes might not be the cold hearted murderess that everyone thinks she is.I don't even know how to describe this novel. I saw it in my local library audio book section and remembered seeing it on GoodReads and thinking that for a historical fiction book (not my forte), that it sounded good. It had great reviews and was written by an Australian author and was soon to be made into a movie. So I thought "Why not?". Surprisingly it was read by Morven Christie, who had narrated my favourite character in "Code Name Verity" which I read recently, so it didn't take me long to get used to her hauntingly beautiful voice.It is set in Iceland which is another reason this book appealed to me. It is on my bucket list and I was interested in what it was like back then in the 1800's, in such a cold, desolate, yet beautiful place. And I'm not going to lie. It's pretty depressing. The way of life is hard and dangerous, as it was in most places back then. Children died in infancy, women in childbirth and the cold bred nasty infections for everyone. The way Kent describes everyday life in such exquisite, depressing detail is so profound. I am new to audio books, and can't remember ever before being captured by beautiful prose like I was while listening to this book. My favourite moment of the book, even though it was in a depressing part of the book, was when Agnus was young and her foster father took her out into the cold to watch the northern lights. Their description sent shivers down my spine. I could see them in my minds eye so clearly.Even before I listened to the authors notes I knew the research that went into this novel was obviously a HUGE undertaking. Thoroughly impressive! Kent's love for the country is obvious, and it made me want to go and visit Iceland even more! Would I recommend it?Absolutely!!!! I HIGHLY recommend the audio version. Just don't listen to it if you are in the mood for a feel good book! But my gosh! - Its marvellous!For more reviews visit my blogwww.booksbabiesbeing.comFind me on

  • Marilena ⚓
    2019-05-21 09:34

    Μόλις ηρεμήσω,θα γράψω την αποψή μου.

  • foteini_dl
    2019-05-18 11:30

    Μιας και μέχρι πριν λίγες ημέρες άνηκα στο γκρουπ «και εγώ δεν έχω διαβάσει Kent ακόμα»,οπότε δεν ξέρω τι μπορώ να πω που δεν έχει ειπωθεί.Εξαιρετική η γραφή της Kent και το βιβλίο είναι page-turner.Πάλεψα να μην το τελειώσω μέσα σε 3-4 μέρες,γιατί ήθελα να το απολαύσω όσο περισσότερο γίνεται.Σπάνιο μια ιστορία,η οποία ξέρεις που θα καταλήξει,να σου κρατάει αμείωτο το ενδιαφέρον απ'την αρχή μέχρι το τέλος.Η ιστορία δένει απίστευτα με την παγωμένη,ισλανδική επαρχία των αρχών του 1800.Νομίζω ότι αν διαδραματιζόταν σε μια άλλη εποχή ή σε μια άλλη χώρα δε θα μου έκανε-μάλλον-αίσθηση.Το βιβλίο,απ’το σημείο που ανακοινώνεται η ημερομηνία εκτέλεσης της Άγκνες,γίνεται έντονο και προσωπικό,ενώ μέχρι τότε κινούταν σε ένα ήρεμο,θα έλεγα,τόνο.Αυτό το βρήκα φανταστικό,μιας και δείχνει τη μαεστρία της Kent.Όσον αφορά τα αρνητικά,θα ήθελα να αναπτυχθούν περισσότερο οι υπόλοιποι χαρακτήρες,κυρίως οι κόρες και ο πατέρας της οικογένειας και ο εφημέριος Τότι.Αν είχε γίνει αυτό,θα έλεγα ότι το βιβλίο είναι ένα αριστούργημα.Μετά απ’ αυτό μου γεννήθηκαν κάποιες απορίες:1)γιατί άργησα τόσο να πιάσω το βιβλίο στα χέρια μου;2)πότε θα μάθω Ισλανδικά;3)πότε θα πάω Ισλανδία;

  • Diane S ☔
    2019-05-17 13:47

    It is very hard to describe the atmosphere of this novel. The coldness, the loneliness, the lives hard lived permeate this book, as the story of Agnes is told. Well researched accounting of the last woman beheaded and the last case of capitol punishment in Iceland in 1830. This narrative follows the last months of her life and is hauntingly and movingly told.The district is hard put to harbor a criminal awaiting death and so Agnes is put in the care of a good Christian farm family. Her only provision is that of a young priest who job is to reconcile her to her fate and her God. He does, however, do more as it is to him that she tells her story. This is a quiet, book, a slow book, but a poignant one as we learn of Agnes's life. This book and the way it was written made it seem as if the events were happening now and Agnes was currently in the news, or someone I knew.This story affected me the way it did because it seemed so very real. But do not expect alot of action, you won't get it and do not expect a fast paced novel, this is not that wither. It is a slow unraveling of a woman's life that leads to death. I look forward to what this author will write next and admire the amount of research she put into this book to make it as historically accurate as possible.ARC from the publisher.

  • Nikoleta
    2019-06-09 12:42

    Δεν μπορώ να σχολιάσω πολλά για αυτό το βιβλίο, ούτε χρειάζεται να περιγράψω την ιστορία του. Όποιος θέλει να μάθει για αυτήν, δεν έχει παρά να κοιτάξει το οπισθόφυλλο. Το μόνο που θα κάνω είναι να παραθέσω 1-2 αποσπάσματα από το κείμενο για να καταλάβετε πόσο όμορφα είναι ειπωμένη αυτή η ιστορία.«Αν μιλήσω, τα λόγια μου θα είναι κλεισμένα σε φουσκαλίτσες αέρα. Κι εκείνοι δεν θα μπορούν να πάρουν τα λόγια μου, να τα κάνουν δικά τους. Θα δουν σε μένα την πόρνη, την τρελή, την φόνισσα, τη γυναίκα που στάζει αίμα στο χορτάρι, τη γυναίκα που γελάει με το στόμα της γεμάτο χώμα. (…) Αλλά κανείς δεν θα δει εμένα. Εγώ δεν θα είμαι εκεί.»σσ. 50-51.«Τρομερά πουλιά, ντυμένα στα κόκκινα, με ασημένια κουμπιά στο στήθος, ανασηκωμένα κεφάλια και σουβλερά ράμφη. Έψαχναν την ενοχή μου, όπως ψάχνουν τα πεινασμένα πουλιά τους καρπούς στις βατομουριές. Δεν με άφησαν να πω τα πράγματα με τον δικό μου τρόπο, να πω τι έγινε. Πήραν ό,τι θυμόμουν από το Ιλουγκάσταντιρ, από τον Νάταν, και τ’ανακάτεψαν, τα’στυψαν, έβγαλαν κάτι φριχτό, τρομαχτικό. (…) Ό,τι κι αν είπα, μου το πήραν και το άλλαξαν, ώσπου ή ιστορία δεν ήταν πια δική μου.»σ. 134.«Είπαν ότι πρέπει να πεθάνω. Είπαν ότι έκλεψα την ανάσα άλλων ανθρώπων και τώρα πρέπει να κλέψουν τη δική μου.»σ. 15.

  • Laura
    2019-05-28 07:46

    4.5 stars. I don't have words. This is the kind of book I would tell almost anyone to read, whether they were interested in the synopsis or not. It's not an easy read, although it reads fast. You'll need a strong stomach at times, which I knew going in, and you should know too. The writing is what I'm having a hard time describing. It is crisp and sparse and clean and simply, beautiful. This is a book you read to experience Hannah Kent's uncanny ability. She is 28. This is her first novel. And I think that by the time her career is over, she will be able to stand among the greats. Truly. We'll see. I'll be paying attention. Now for the audio performance. I actually don't know which to praise more highly, Kent's prose, or the stunning masterpiece that is the audio version of this book. I've listened to hundreds of audiobooks. This one is perfect. Perfect. It literally made the hairs on my arms stand up. It's not scary, well, not scary-movie-scary. It's chilling and raw, and you won't be able to look away. This one will stay with me for some time.