Feb 19: Burial Rites

Posted on 09.03.2017

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04. Burial RightsHannah Kent (Feb 19)
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After we finished The Girl With All the Gifts, we had to listen to something else. So we chose this cheerful (true) story about the last woman to be put to death in Iceland.

This story was beautifully written as well, in a more confessional style (in some parts) than the God of Small Things. It took a similar route to get the reader to figure out what actually happened, but it was worth the ride.

Although not a documentary, the story is based on the actual facts surrounding the last death sentence for a woman in Iceland. We chose this one because we are both VERY excited about the new book out from Hannah Kent: the Good People. We can’t wait to read that one (it’s not here in Japan yet). So we figured we should start with this to pass the time.

Set in Iceland in 1829/28, the book describes the final days of Agnes Magnúsdóttir as she contemplates her life, impending death, and so on. The book switches POVs to include some of the other major characters, but when you get back to Agnes it’s like you’re in her mind, or she’s talking to you. It’s beautiful and so sad to read, and you kind of end up rooting for her to be spared somehow, even though the history has already been written and it’s not a happy ending.

I can’t decide if reading this book makes me want to live in Iceland MORE, or if it has quietly, slightly dissuaded me. Just a bit.

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Posted in: books, reviews