Cover image for
Title:
Burial rites : a novel
Author(s):
Kent, Hannah, 1985-
ISBN/ISSN:
9780316243919
Personal Author:
Edition:
First North American edition.
Physical Description:
322 pages: map ; 25 cm
Abstract:
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 -- provided by publisher.
Geographic Term:
Pub Date:
Little, Brown and Company, 2013.
Holds:

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Central - Houston Public Library Adult Fiction Book KENT
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Jungman - Houston Public Library Adult Fiction Book KENT
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Collier - Houston Public Library Adult Fiction Book KENT
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Vinson - Houston Public Library Adult Fiction Book KENT
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Looscan - Houston Public Library Adult Fiction Book KENT
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Looscan - Houston Public Library Adult Fiction Book KENT
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Looscan - Houston Public Library Adult Fiction Book KENT
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Oak Forest - Houston Public Library Adult Fiction Book KENT
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Freed-Montrose -- Houston Public Library Adult Fiction Book KENT
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Scenic Woods - Houston Public Library Adult Fiction Book KENT
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Heights - Houston Public Library Adult Fiction Book KENT
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Henington-Alief - Houston Public Library Adult Fiction Book KENT
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Summary

Summary

*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?


Author Notes

Hannah Kent was born in 1985 in Adelaide, Australia. She is the co-founder and publishing director of Australian literary journal Kill Your Darlings. She won the inaugural Writing Australia Unpublished Manuscript Award (2011). Burial Rites is her first novel. It won numerous awards including the ABIA Literary Fiction Book of the Year, the Indie Awards Debut Fiction Book of the Year and the Victorian Premier's People's Choice Award. Her second novel, The Good People, is being adapted into a film. She will be writing the screenplay.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 3

Booklist Review

*Starred Review* It is March 1829, and Agnes Magnusdottir has been sentenced to be beheaded for murdering her employer. Due to the cost of keeping her imprisoned, she is sent to the farm of district commissioner Jon Jonsson, where he lives with his wife and two daughters, until her execution. She arrives at the farm filthy, bruised, and bleeding due to the cruelty with which she has been treated during her imprisonment. The mistress of the farm immediately puts her to work scything the harvest, churning butter, and making sausages, while a young priest visits with her to prepare her soul for death. It is from their conversations that Agnes' story becomes known: abandonment by her mother condemns her to life as a pauper subject to the behest of her many employers, and her intelligence only makes her more of a target. Kent's debut novel, she says, is my dark love letter to Iceland, and rarely has a country's starkness and extreme weather been rendered so exquisitely. The harshness of the landscape and the lifestyle of nineteenth-century Iceland, with its dank turf houses and meager food supply, is as finely detailed as the heartbreak and tragedy of Agnes' life, based on the true story of the last woman executed there. Haunting reading from a bright new talent.--Wilkinson, Joanne Copyright 2010 Booklist


Publisher's Weekly Review

Kent's debut delves deep into Scandinavian history, not to mention matters of storytelling, guilt, and silence. Based on the true story of Agnes Magnusdottir, the novel is set in rural Iceland in 1829. Agnes is awaiting execution for the murder of her former employer and his friend, not in a prison-there are none in the area-but at a local family's farm. Jon Jonsson, the father, grudgingly accepts this thankless task as part of his responsibility as a regional official, but his wife and daughters' reactions range from silent resentment to outright fear. After settling in to the household, Agnes requests the company of a young priest, to whom she confesses parts of her story, while narrating the full tale only to the reader, who, like the priest, "provide[s] her with a final audience to her life's lonely narrative." The multilayered story paints sympathetic and complex portraits of Agnes, the Jonssons, and the young priest, whose motives for helping the convict are complicated. Kent smoothly incorporates her impressive research- for example, she opens many of the chapters with documents that come directly from archival sources-while giving life to these historical figures and suspense to their tales. Agent: Daniel Lazar, Writers House. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Library Journal Review

This mesmerizing debut from Kent is a haunting fictionalized account of the final months of Agnes Magnusdottir, an Icelandic work maid condemned to execution in 1829. Charged with the brutal murder of two men, Agnes is shipped off to the -Jonsson family's remote farm in northern Iceland to await her fate-death by beheading. As the narrative gracefully shifts among historical documents, flashbacks, and multiple characters' perspectives, listeners become captivated by the complex Agnes, a woman whose intelligence has offended many in the patriarchal 19th-century Icelandic society. Kent's prose is achingly beautiful, and her descriptions of even the smallest incidents are so exquisite listeners will want to go back and hear them over again. -VERDICT Recommend this heartbreaking tale, masterfully narrated by Scottish actress Morven Christie, to anyone who enjoys suspenseful, smart historical fiction. ["[T]his compulsively readable novel entertains while illuminating a significant but little-known true story. Highly recommended," read the starred review of the Little, Brown hc, LJ 7/13.]-Beth Farrell, Cleveland State Univ. Law Lib. (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


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