My Book Review: Burial Rites by Hannah Kent

Burial Rites

Author: Hannah Kent

My Review and Thoughts:

Burial Rites is a complex character study of one women’s inner thoughts and the surroundings around her as she goes through her last days. You become sour in the realization of this tormented soul of a character. Her past is bleak and clouded with pain, suffering and the world seems to have beat her down. Hannah Kent has away with capturing the ordeal in a harsh, destructive emotional reality that makes the reader truly feel sorry for this person.

The descriptive narrative by the main character of Agnes is by far the highlight of this book. Her personal thoughts, her storytelling in first person narrative at times truly bleeds off the page into the emotional heart strings of the reader. As you go about reading this brilliantly written novel you become like the fly in the room and you hear, see, watch and become apart of the ordeal in truly emotional and humble ways as Agnes truly becomes apart of your inner soul, mind, thoughts and most of your heart.

The story is about the character of Agnes. She has been accused alongside two others in a brutal double murder. She has been sentenced to be beheaded. Her execution lingers throughout the story. She has been placed in the care of a farm until her coming death. There a Minister in training has been hired to see that Agnes comes about freeing her soul and comes to ask God for forgiveness for her brutal crimes. As the Minister Toti comes to know her, he realizes the story is more complex as it slowly unravels in vivid storytelling detail.

Agnes is a brilliant character. A personal character. A complex character of mystery. Well weaved in written form. Agnes truly grows on you. You can’t help but want to save her, to listen to her, to comfort her even in her hard bitterness. She has such a past that the writer displays that you the reader can’t help but want to know everything about her and what happens to her. You want to listen to her past, her present her inner darkness.

I think what truly stands out is this is based on a True Story and Hannah Kent displays that true story in vivid detail and truly an emotional ordeal that the reader follows along with until the very end. You can’t help but turn the page to see what unfolds in this graphic tale of a woman’s life in so many bitter filled ways.

Hannah Kent is a is a flawless writer of detail. She captures the sadness. The torment. The dread. The love. The idea of suffering. Hannah takes the reader on a journal that never gives up in detail and emotional reality. What I love about Hannah’s writing is it’s so vivid. She displays the rough living reality of farm life in the 1800’s. The dirt and grime. The hard labor. The emotional happenings. The close minded people. The gossip and hatred. The ideas of women being lesser than man and treated horribly during the time periods displayed. Hannah captures it all vivid detail and that makes the book more complex, graphic and truly memorable page after page.

I found myself very emotional toward the last pages of this book. I will not lie, I cried. The writing was so well down the emotional reality of this story gets to you and you can't help but shed a tear.

Would I Return to: I think I would? This is going to become a movie I gather and so it will be interesting to see how they capture the darkness, dread and torment of this novel in movie form.

Would I Recommend: In a heartbeat. I think this is a book that should be read, experienced and honored in all it’s wonderful written detail. As I have stated it’s a complex story with tight weaved and emotional realities in characters described in great detail on each page.

Final Four Words: Complex. Emotional. Descriptive beauty.

My Rating: 5 out of 5