Title: Burial Rites
Author: Hannah Kent
Published: 2013 by Pan Macmillan Australia
Goodreads synopsis: Click on book cover
Goodreads Rating: 3.99 stars out of 5
This book was difficult to get into. I love historic fiction, and the fact that this one is based on a true story, should have made it better..however, it did not. I was quite disappointed with this book.
The story is set in Iceland in 1829 and follows Agnes Magnusdottir, a woman who is found guilty of committing murder and given a death sentence. She is sent to live on a farm with the Jonsson family while she awaits her execution, which, as you can imagine, does not go down too well with the family. They despise her. The eldest daughter, Steiner, begins to form a bond with her, followed by the mother Margret, and eventually, as they get to know her and learn her story, they all develop a bond with the prisoner.
This book is written well mostly, however, it was difficult to read the names of the places and people, due to there being Icelandic names. (Not that that is Kent’s fault, it was just an issue I had). It was a good story, however, I just found it to be a bit slow-paced. It also jumped around quite a lot..it went from being in first person for the sections about Agnes, then would jump to third person for the rest. The majority of the book was Agnes telling us the story of the crime (even though it did not come out completely until the last few pages), as a memory in first person, and then as a story she was telling others in third person. It got to be a bit confusing.
The true details of the crime did not get told until the last few pages, and then the rest felt quite rushed. Kent spent so much time in the early moments building up the story (slowly) and then rushed it through really fast at the end like she just wanted to get it finished. If it was a twist, then I would not have minded as much but you pretty much saw this coming.
I gave this book 3 out of 5 stars.
Thank you for stopping by to read my review of Burial Rites, hopefully you enjoyed it, and happy reading!