"Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read." Groucho Marx

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Burial Rites by Hannah Kent

I've read a number of young adult novels of late and was hungering for something a little more challenging. When kept idle too long my brain craves something to work at so I made Hannah Kent's latest my next selection. Burial Rites was worked up as a top book club choice in a recent Book Pages publication and I've had it on deck for a couple of months. It seemed like the right time to add some edge back into my reading list...

This is an intriguing and horrifying account, made more so by the advance knowledge of its basis on a true story. I couldn't help but admire the strength of Agnes as time crawls toward her execution date and she continues to work hard, treat the people around her with patience, and even reach out in kindness when such an advance is allowed. Agnes' story hints at political maneuvering that leads her to be treated as an example rather than an Icelandic citizen honestly heard and found guilty of the heinous crimes inscribed. Agnes teaches me, yet again, that all is not as it initially appears and it is possible to live gracefully when anything but seems infinitely more fitting.

Though masterfully told and clearly well researched, Burial Rites left me with more questions than answers. I wish I knew more about all the characters in the novel, particularly what happened after the final page was turned. I can speculate on how Agnes' life was changed by the people surrounding her during the months of her exile but I'm curious to know how the lives of others were changed by Agnes. Hannah Kent has sparked my interest with her tale and I look forward to doing some additional reading on the events covered in Burial Rites. Well-written and engaging to the end, this book continues to resonate in the back of my mind hours after I've finished it.

You will find an official plot line description at: https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1393224135l/18295842.jpg.

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