Burial Rites

  • Type: Books
  • By: Hannah Kent
  • Age Category: Adults
  • Genre: Historical Fiction
  • Recommended by: Mari G.
  • ISBN/UPC: 9780316243919
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A Haunting Tale from Icelandic History

Agnes Magnúsdóttir was the last person to be publicly beheaded in Iceland in 1829.  This novel is a fictional account of her role in killing two men and burning down the house where they slept.  Her final days are spent with a family on a farm, helping with housework and being counselled by a Lutheran priest to repent.  Most striking was Hannah Kent’s depiction the very cold and desolate winters of Iceland. I was left feeling that the church and the climate must have had a massive hold on poor people in Iceland in the 19th century.