Favorite Books of the 2010s: Burial Rites by Hannah Kent

This is a series of reviews of my favorite books published between 2010 and 2019.


Burial Rites by Hannah Kent (2013)

Burial Rites is based on the true story of Agnes Magnusdottier, the last person to be executed in Iceland, in 1830. The story depicts Agnes’s last weeks when a farming family is forced to take her in. Living in close quarters, they gradually come to see Agnes as she really is, and they hear her story of what happened on the night the murders she is accused of took place. What makes this novel special is not only Agnes’s resolute character, but also the care given to depicting the mundane details of everyday life in early nineteenth-century Iceland, down to the mud and the blood. This is historical fiction that transports the reader wholly to another time and place.

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