BURIAL RITES: Poetic & Haunting



Burial Rites by Hannah Kent
Reviewed by Raul

To this day, the story of Agnes Magnusdottir is known to Icelanders. Agnes is the last person executed in Iceland for murder. While there is no question as to her involvement in the killing, readers of Hannah Kent’s new novel Burial Rites pick up that there may be more to the story. Kent does a fantastic job of including documents from the trial that give a clearer picture of what life and justice was like on this remote island in the late 19th century.  What is missing from the documents is Agnes’ own statement.

Agnes has to face her fate and here is where Kent’s skill as an author shines.  Agnes is not initially accepted by the family she has been placed with to wait her execution ( apparently, Iceland did not have prisons as we know them ), and they fear…

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