Burial Rites (Kent)

Book Reviews
[A] debut of rare sophistication and beauty—a simple but moving story, meticulously researched and hauntingly told.
Lucy Scholes - Guardian (UK)

If you read nothing else this fall, read Burial Rites: The pages turn themselves
Steph Opitz - Marie Claire

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.... The multilayered story paints sympathetic and complex portraits of Agnes, the Jonssons, and the young priest, whose motives for helping the convict are complicated.
Publishers Weekly

(Starred review.) [A] retelling of real-life events from 1828, Iceland, when Agnes Magnusdottir and two others are convicted and sentenced to death in a brutal double murder thought to have been motivated by greed and jealousy.... [T]his compulsively readable novel entertains while illuminating a significant but little-known true story. Highly recommended. —Barbara Love, Kingston Frontenac P.L., Ont.
Library Journal

(Starred review.) 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.... [A]haunting reading from a bright new talent. —Joanne Wilkinson

(Starred review.) Kent deftly reveals the mysterious relationship between Agnes...and now-dead Natan Ketilsson, a healer, some say a sorcerer, for whom she worked as a housekeeper. Kent writes movingly of Natan's seduction of the emotionally stunted Agnes.... The narrative is revealed in third person, interspersed with Agnes' compelling first-person accounts...before the novel reaches an inevitable, realistic and demanding culmination. A magical exercise in artful literary fiction.
Kirkus Reviews

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