A brilliant literary debut, inspired by a true story: the final days of a young woman accused of murder in Iceland in 1829.
Set against Iceland's stark landscape, Hannah Kent brings to vivid life the story of Agnes, who, charged with the brutal murder of her former master, is sent to an isolated farm to await execution.
Horrified at the prospect of housing a convicted murderer, the family at first avoids Agnes. Only Tóti, a priest Agnes has mysteriously chosen to be her spiritual guardian, seeks to understand her. But as Agnes's death looms, the farmer's wife and their daughters learn there is another side to the sensational story they've heard.
Riveting and rich with lyricism, Burial Rites evokes a dramatic existence in a distant time and place, and asks the question, how can one woman hope to endure when her life depends upon the stories told by others?
"Here is an original new voice, with a deep and lovely grasp of language and story. Hannah Kent's first novel, Burial Rites, is an accomplished gem, its prose as crisp and sparkling as its northern setting." —Geraldine Brooks, winner of the Pulitzer Prize
"A compelling read, heart-breaking and uplifting in equal measure." —Anne Berry, author of The Hungry Ghosts
"Hannah Kent's gorgeous and haunting Burial Rites will touch your heart." —Charlotte Rogan, author of The Lifeboat
"So gripping I wanted to rush through the pages, but so beautifully written I wanted to linger over every sentence. Hannah Kent's debut novel is outstanding." —Madeline Miller, author of The Song of Achilles
"Hannah Kent's Burial Rites shows how a seemingly simple tale—a murder, a family, a remote landscape—can prove mythic in scale in the right hands. Spell-binding and moving, it's the kind of novel that gets under your skin, moves your blood, your heart. A bravura debut." —Megan Abbott, author of Dare Me
About the Author - Hannah Kent
Hannah Kent was born in Adelaide in 1985. As a teenager she travelled to Iceland on a Rotary Exchange, where she first heard the story of Agnes Magnúsdóttir. Hannah is the co-founder and deputy editor of Australian literary journal Kill Your Darlings, and is completing her PhD at Flinders University. In 2011 she won the inaugural Writing Australia Unpublished Manuscript Award. Burial Rites is her first novel.