Rating 5 stars
I chose Hannah Kent’s The Good People for my next read because it seemed like the direct opposite of The Book of Strange New Things. Set in rural Ireland in the heart of Munster, it’s the story of a small community of farmers. The year is 1825. Life is hard. For Nóra Leahy it gets harder still. Continue reading
Rating: 4 stars
This is my second book from the Willoughby Book Club subscription I won earlier this year. It’s another good choice. I’ve had Burial Rites on my wishlist since it was published three years ago.
Before I even started reading, I loved the book. It’s a book to fetishise. I have the hardback edition, with its black tipped pages, its black book cloth, its deep purple end papers, and its raven feather illustrated book jacket. It says dark Icelandic nights. It says murder. It says misery.
The scene setting quote from the Laxdæla Saga before the prologue is delicious.
I was worst to the one I loved best.
The book is based on historical murders that happened in Iceland in 1828. The author includes letters written by officials involved in the case and court records to provide context and moves between third person observation of the key players in the story and first person testimony from the murderer Agnes Magnúsdóttir.
It was a strange book to read. I enjoyed it and wanted to read it quickly, but I found the intensity hard going at times. I had to have frequent rests from it. It was quite tiring. The reading equivalent of being stuck in a remote farmhouse in the wilds of Iceland in 1828, I suppose. Continue reading