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review Burial Rites Ñ eBook or Kindle ePUB ë Στη Βόρεια Ισλανδία του 1829 η Agnes Magnúsdóttir καταδικάζεται σε θάνατο για την άγρια δολοφονία δύο ανδρών Υποχρεώνεται να περάσει το χρόνο μέχρι την εκτέλεσή της στη φυγκινητικό μυθιστόρημα για την προσωπική ελευθερία πως βλέπουμε τον εαυτό μας πως μας βλέπουν οι άλλοι και ως που θα φτάσει ο καθένας για την αγάπηΗ Hannah Kent μέσα από τις περιγραφές της Βορείου Ισλανδίας όπου κάθε μέρα είναι μια μάχη για την επιβίωση θέτει ένα καίριο ερώτημα πως μπορεί μια γυναίκα να αντέξει όταν η ζωή της εξαρτάται από τις ιστορίες των άλλω.   “They will see the whore the madwoman the murderess the female dripping blood into the grass and laughing with her mouth choked with dirt They will say “Agnes” and see the spider the witch caught in the webbing of her own fateful weaving They might see the lamb circled by ravens bleating for a lost mother But they will not see me I will not be there”  When you already know how a story ends and yet you find yourself agonizing over the fate of its protagonists willing for History to change direction it says a lot about the writer's talent to make you so interested in the novel that you deny reality This is what happens with Hannah Kent's Burial Rites The haunting almost harrowing landscape of Iceland becomes a character as significant as Agnes Tóti Natan and Margret Each character springs out of the pages and right into your soul Agnes' voice is full of dignity and beauty even when she momentarily gives in to despair Margret is strength and determination Tóti is compassion and Natan is love as a destructive force Burial Rites is one of the best books in the Gothic Crime fiction genre a genre that is rejuvenated by authors like Hannah Kent and Cecilia Ekbäck “I remain uiet I am determined to close myself to the world to tighten my heart and hold what has not yet been stolen from me I cannot let myself slip away I will hold what I am inside and keep my hands tight around all the things I have seen and heard and felt” 

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ο Tóti που έχει οριστεί πνευματικός σύμβουλός της έχει επαφή μαζί της προσπαθώντας να σώσει την ψυχή της Καθώς περνά ο καιρός και έρχεται ο χειμώνας οι δουλειές στη φάρμα τους φέρνουν όλους πιο κοντά Η ιστορία της Agnes ξεδιπλώνεται ενώ αναδύεται και το ερώτημα της πραγματικής ή μη ενοχής τηςΒασισμένο σε μια πραγματική ιστορία το Έθιμα Ταφής είναι ένα βαθιά σ. Well this ain't Little House On The Prairie; and Toti I have a feeling we're not in Kansas any Through Hannah Kent's research we are transported to the early 1800's of rural Icelandic farming life With her considerable talent for writing research and her imagination for speculative biography we are privy to the story of Agnes Magnusdottir Iceland's last female convicted murderer sentenced to public executionAgnes has suffered through a life of hardships Through all that beset her she remained a hard working woman intelligent and worthy of anyone's friendship Yet because of her status as a bastard child and nothing than a pauper friendships are virtually nonexistent Iceland is a cold cold environment Provided here is a link to an interview with MsKent that I found interesting Hannah Kent discusses Burial Rites and speculative biographyhttpswwwyoutubecomwatchv8gIC page 1112 Toti receives a letter delivered by messenger 'Tell Blondal that I will meet with Agness MagnusdottirI'm to be her spiritual advisor The servant gaped at him and then suddenly laughed 'Good Lord he muttered They pick a mouse to tame a cat'page 81 Agnes contemplations God has had His chance to free me and for reasons known to Him alone He has pinned me to ill fortune and although I have struggled I am run through and through with disaster; I am knifed to the hilt with fate page 87 Toti hears about Natan Ketilsson'He was a sorcerer The old woman next to him had spoken The family looked at her 'He was a sorcerer she repeated And he got what was coming to him 'Natan Satan that was his name Nothing he did ever came from God'page 103104 AgnesToti conversation Agnas shook her headTo know what a person has done and to know who a person is are very different things Toti persistedBut Agnes actions speak louder than words Actions lie Agnes retorted uickly Sometimes people never stood a chance in the beginning or they might have made a mistake It's not fair People claim to know you through the things you've done and not by sitting down and listening to you speak for yourself No matter how much you try to live a godly life if you make a mistake in this valley it's never forgotten No matter if you tried to do what was best No matter if your innermost self whispers 'I am not as you say' how other people think of you determines who you are' page 192193 Agnes contemplation There is an urgency that comes with slaughter Why not kill me here now on an unremarkable day It is the waiting that cripples The sheep scavenge for grass Do these dumb animals know their fate Rounded up and separated they only have to wait one icy night in fear I have been in the killing pen for monthspage 292 Excerpt from execution orders set out by the Secretary to His Royal Majesty GJohnson Copenhagen Denmark to Hunavatn District Commissioner Bjorn Blondal4d The selected executionerGudmundur Ketilsson shall at Your Honor's home and with secrecy and encouragement be trained for the mission that he has been entrusted with This will be done to ensure as much as possible that he at this important moment will not lose faith or control The beheading must be carried out in one blow without any pain for the convicted Gudmundur Ketilsson must only drink a very little dose of spirits

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Burial RitesΣτη Βόρεια Ισλανδία του 1829 η Agnes Magnúsdóttir καταδικάζεται σε θάνατο για την άγρια δολοφονία δύο ανδρών Υποχρεώνεται να περάσει το χρόνο μέχρι την εκτέλεσή της στη φάρμα του Jón Jónsson με την οικογένειά του την γυναίκα του και τις δύο κόρες τους Η οικογένεια τρομοκρατημένη που αναγκάζεται να συμβιώσει με μια καταδικασμένη δολοφόνο αποφεύγει να της μιλήσειΜόνον. “They will say ‘Agnes’ and see the spider the witch caught in the webbing of her own fateful weaving They might see the lamb circled by ravens bleating for a lost mother But they will not see me I will not be there” On 12 January 1830 the last instance of capital punishment in Iceland occurred when Friðrik Sigurðsson and Agnes Magnúsdóttir were executed in Vatnsdalshólar in Húnavatnssýsla for the murder of two men While often painted as “monstrous” a cold blooded murderer a figure of Lady Macbeth style ruthlessness the truth is that there is a dearth of factual information about Agnes Magnusdottir While the instrument of her execution – a broad axe – has been preserved little is known about the life of the woman sentenced to death and publicly beheaded A third person was also convicted Sigridur Gudmundsdottir whose sentence was later commuted to life imprisonment “They said I must die They said that I stole the breath from men and now they must steal mine” Burial Rites is the product of a ten year uest to uncover what remains of Agnes Magnusdottir’s life Instigated by an exchange visit to Iceland after high school Hannah Kent spent the ensuing years absorbed in intense archival research examination of primary sources and retracing of Agnes’ steps from her birth to her final resting place Kent called the result a “speculative biography” a weave of fact and fiction and her own “dark love letter to Iceland” While Burial Rites presents the uestion of whether history has misrepresented Agnes the novel does not necessarily demand sympathy for her It does however offer a empathetic albeit ambiguous portrayal of a woman condemned – and an attempt to understand what circumstances might have led to her conviction in a double murder The result is an exuisitely beautiful novel Kent’s prose is rich and clear rendering the melancholic claustrophobic atmosphere of the Icelandic winter and Agnes’ impending execution in evocative language Agnes herself awaiting death and exiled at the farm of a minor public servant emerges from the pages vividly “Those who are not being dragged to their deaths cannot understand how the heart grows hard and sharp until it is a nest of rocks with only an empty egg in it I am barren; nothing will grow from me any I am the dead fish drying in the cold air I am the dead bird on the shore I am dry I am not certain I will bleed when they drag me out to meet the axe No I am still warm my blood still howls in my veins like the wind itself and it shakes the empty nest and asks where all the birds have gone where have they gone” Kent writes with a kind of graceful maturity a depth of emotion that befits the subject matter This a story about a woman facing her imminent death a woman with one final opportunity to speak her truth and Kent captures the desperation isolation and grief of Agnes with stunning clarity The book is interspersed with Agnes’ inner monologues and these sections are the most vivid; pouring forth in a steam of raw psychological pain and striking imagery Though she spent much of her life employed as a servant and a period of her childhood as an orphaned pauper thrown on the mercy of the parish there is evidence to suggest that Agnes was also an intelligent and highly literate woman And this is the version of Agnes that Kent chooses to portray; beneath the hard and icy veneer of a woman reviled and silenced she is compelling passionate and astuteWhile living and working alongside Jón Jónsson and his family fragments of Agnes’ story begin to emerge As she confides in Tóti the young assistant priest commissioned to reconcile her to her fate and to God Agnes’ version of events takes shape as the remaining days of her life pass Through this gradual unwinding Tóti and the family come to confront the idea that the truth may not be all that it seems While we already know how Agnes’ story ends it’s this suggestion of dissonance between public opinion and her personal reality that fuel the novel’s tension Burial Rites suggests that truth is open to interpretation and is rarely as straightforward as commonly perceived Fear gossip and hatred twist the idea of Agnes into something horrifying and loathsome; an opinion no doubt perpetuated by the pervasive social religious and sexual politics of the time To this end Kent’s novel faithfully depicts life in 19th century Iceland and is immersed in historical detail without the narrative being weighed down or bloated It is clear that care has been taken to accurately represent the conditions of Agnes’ world to reconstruct the framework of her life with as much integrity as possible The gaps in historical record which Kent has fleshed out with fiction fit seamlessly within the broader context of time and place resulting in a story that respects its origins We cannot know the entirety of Agnes Magnusdottir’s story but Burial Rites asks us to remember her if not reconsider how history may have buried her own truth with her body Knutur Oskarsson who accommodated Hannah Kent during part of the writing and research of the novel stated “I do believe that the execution of Agnes is still an unhealed wound in Iceland in the history of Iceland”Burial Rites is a respectful and moving acknowledgment of that wound; a reminder that Agnes Magnusdottir’s voice once existed even if it was lost to time