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Burial Rites
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Archive - Group Reads > Burial Rites - November 2014

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Chava | 2788 comments Hi everyone,

This is the discussion thread for Burial rites by Hannah Kent. Elizabeth will be our moderator, thanks Elizabeth.


☼♎ Carmen the Bootyshaker Temptress ☼♎ | 601 comments I have this book on reserve at my library. I'll join the discussion later.


Dominique I will join the discussion during the month.


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Karen (karen94066) | 262 comments I have requested this book, should be here soon.


Chava | 2788 comments Okay, unfortunately Elizabeth is unable to lead the discussion and has asked me to take over. I read the book about 3 months ago, so hopefully I can be of service in the discussion :).

Some background info on the author. Hannah Kent is a Melbournian (someone who lives in Melbourne, Australia) like me :) and learnt about this story when she went to Iceland after she won a scholarship or competition to go there when she was only in high school. The story is about an Icelandic servant girl who is accused of murdering 2 men and she is the last woman to have been put to death in Iceland.

I personally was haunted by the story and thought the personal reflections in the story amazing. This story still has me thinking of it on a weekly basis and I would love to see it in a film. It definitely makes me want to visit Iceland.

What are/were your impressions of the book?


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I've had this book forever and have wanted to read it. This is just the excuse I needed. I started reading it yesterday and am struck by the austerity of the novel.


Suzy (goodreadscomsuzy_hillard) I read this book last year during the height of the "polar vortex" that settled over the upper U.S. midwest. It was the perfect time to get in sync with the atmosphere of cold that permeates this book in more ways than just the climate.

I thought the book was excellent, even if very dark. One of the things that contributed to my positive feelings was the three-pronged approach Kent took to the telling of Agnes' story. Parts were told in 3rd person description of events and situations; parts were told through Agnes's 1st person thoughts and parts were told by her to the wife of her caretakers/captors and to the priest who was preparing her spiritually.

I agree with Chava that this book is haunting, sticking with the reader long after finishing. I also listened to this book, which was the only way I think one can understand how all the Icelandic names and places are actually pronounced! The narrator, who had an Icelandic language coach, was excellent. I'm eager to see what others think.


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I'm just over a third through, Suzy, and find myself really drawn to Margret's reaction and interactions with Agnes.


Chava | 2788 comments I love the Icelandic names and have noticed some around me at work. I now follow my best to pronounce them the Icelandic way. It's so foreign, but great.

I agree that the narrative changing from 1st to 3rd is very appropriate for the book


message 10: by Helen (last edited Nov 05, 2014 09:56AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Helen (helenliang) Off to a great start with Burial Rites. I am enjoying the Icelandic atmosphere and learning about the harsh conditions the people endured at that time in history. I cannot imagine living in a turf house with stretched animal bladders for my window panes (with veins in them! p.22).


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I just turned the last page and feel like I will need at least a few days to digest this one, even though I knew the story behind the novel before I began. Wow.


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Kirsten  (kmcripn) Haven't started it yet. I think the Icelandic setting is going to be very interesting.

Another great mystery/thriller set in Iceland is Last Rituals by Yrsa Sigurðardóttir


message 13: by [deleted user] (new)

Kirsten wrote: "Haven't started it yet. I think the Icelandic setting is going to be very interesting.

Another great mystery/thriller set in Iceland is Last Rituals by [author:Yrsa Sigurðardóttir|..."


Thank you for the recommendation...I'm thinking I might have this book laying around somewhere (off to look....)


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Karen (karen94066) | 262 comments I picked up my copy yesterday. Looking forward to starting it.


Chava | 2788 comments Michele wrote: "I just turned the last page and feel like I will need at least a few days to digest this one, even though I knew the story behind the novel before I began. Wow."

Michelle, you just hit the nail on the head for me! I read this book a few months back and I am still completely blown away.

Kirsten, I'm really interested in that book. Thanks for that suggestion!!


Helen (helenliang) I finished the book last night. What a wonderful read! Thank-you to the person who recommended it. Off to post my review now...


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Karen (karen94066) | 262 comments I am finding it slow going, hope it picks up soon.


Chava | 2788 comments Karen wrote: "I am finding it slow going, hope it picks up soon."

It's not a very fast moving book, I agree.
How are you finding it so far, Karen?


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Karen (karen94066) | 262 comments I am not anxious to pick it up and read...plus I am housesitting and minding two lonesome dogs, who are demanding all of my attention. Will be back to my normal schedule on Friday.


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Karen (karen94066) | 262 comments Okay, I have a few pages left and it has gotten much more interesting as the story is told. It certainly is a different time and place than any other I have read. It is definitely a challenge. I am having a difficult time keeping track of what she has said verbally, and what she has revealed internally. Obviously, she has no clout and the wrong people against her...


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