Skip to main content

Book Review: Burial Rites

January 23, 2014

This is hands-down the best historical fiction that I have read this past year. I cannot say enough about this book, it is so good. The story is compelling and poignant and the atmospheric setting immediately transports the reader to another place and time.

Set in 1820’s Iceland, Burial Rites is the fictionalized tale of Agnes Magnusdottir, the last woman sentenced to die in Iceland by public execution. Convicted of helping murder two men, Agnes is sent to a remote farm to await her execution. The story centers around the farm’s reluctant family members, forced to house a convicted murderess, young Father Toti, the priest charged with gaining Agnes’s confession, and of course Agnes herself, whose story unfolds through the richly layered plotline culminating with an ending that will take your breath away. . . .

This book is superb.

P.S. Actress Jennifer Lawrence is reportedly trying to get Burial Rites made into a film. For anyone familiar with Lawrence's performance as Ree Dolly in the film Winter’s Bone, she is sure to be phenomenal in the role of Agnes.