Breathe To Read

Breathe To Read

Friday, January 11, 2019

Read The World - Iceland - Burial Rites

Book: Burial Rites
Author: Hannah Kent
Pages: 352
Book takes place in the country: YES
Author is from the country: NO
I have visited: yes, but just briefly to the point it probably doesn't count

I read this book in 2016.  I came across it for that year's challenge for a category: a book that took place over 100 years ago.  I loved it immediately.  

As for Iceland, it is on the bucket list.  Mostly to see the northern lights, although, I am not sure how cold I can stand in order to visit Iceland in February.  We were there this summer, but only briefly on a layover on our way to America.  As we flew over the country I was taken back by the beauty even from that distance.  I plan to go back.

This is a story of a woman who is sentenced to death in the early 1800s in Iceland.  She is accused of murder.  She is taken out of jail to live with a family in a remote part of the country until her execution date is set.  The family is not happy about having to house a murderess, and so they do their best to avoid Agnes when she first arrives.  She is assigned a priest, named Toti, that tries to visit her daily to bring her to God before she dies.  The longer Agnes is with this family, though, the more fond of her they become, and learn that there are two sides to every story.

I thought this was a very good book.  It is not a long book (around 300 pages), and it was easy to read.  The story flowed nicely, and you came to really love Agnes and hope that in the end, she does not have to be executed for the crime she has committed.  We hear stories of her life -which was hard.  (her mother left her with a foster family when she was 6, and after that she was moved around a lot to different farms in Iceland).  She falls for a man named Natan, and he becomes her master and she his housekeeper.  In the end, she finds that he never truly loved her, and never wanted to be with her, and this is where her story takes a turn.

I encourage you to read it.  It is based on a true story.  Iceland is on our bucket list of places to visit someday, and it would be neat to see the places this story took place.

Stars: 4 1/2

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