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Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Review of 'Burial Rites' by Hannah Kent

Burial RitesBurial Rites by Hannah Kent

This novel is a hard read. It is unrelentingly grim and grey. Is Iceland as hard and cruel? Was it, in the 19thC, such a dirty, mud infested, filthy place? Were people so cruel to servants? I don't know, but it doesn't seem to be the land of Viking heroes in this novel, more nasty minded miserable curs.

The story is a stunner, based on a real event and one where no one is sure what happened except that the maid was executed. This gives author, Hannah Kent, plenty of scope for her vivid writing style and tight terse prose.

Oh,the book is worth reading, for shock value alone, never mind the actual characters. The part religion plays is as depressing as ever and you need a strong stomach at times. But I wished for moments when the clouds broke through and there was a shaft of light, a lightening moment. Hannah Kent has done her research and she speaks well about the background to the book, even making her audience laugh. I just wish some of that lightness could have been injected in the story.

Without doubt a book to read, to think about and ponder over human cruelty and people's inhumanity.

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