Burial Rites

  • by Hannah Kent
  • Narrated by Morven Christie
  • 12 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Longlisted – Baileys Women’s Prize 2014
They said I must die. They said that I stole the breaths from men, and now they must steal mine. I imagine, then, that we are all candle flames, greasy-bright, fluttering in the darkness and the howl of the wind, and in the stillness of the room I hear footsteps, awful coming footsteps, coming to blow me out and send my life up away from me in a grey wreath of smoke.
In northern Iceland, 1829, Agnes Magnúsdóttir is condemned to death for her part in the brutal murder of her lover. Agnes is sent to wait out her final months on the farm of district office Jón Jónsson, his wife and their two daughters. Horrified to have a convicted murderer in their midst, the family avoid contact with Agnes. Only Tóti, the young assistant priest appointed Agnes’ spiritual guardian, is compelled to try to understand her. As the year progresses and the hardships of rural life force the household to work side by side, Agnes’ story begins to emerge and with it the family’s terrible realization that all is not as they had assumed.
Based on actual events, Burial Rites is an astonishing and moving novel about the truths we claim to know and the ways in which we interpret what we’re told. In beautiful, cut-glass prose, Hannah Kent portrays Iceland’s formidable landscape, in which every day is a battle for survival, and asks, how can one woman hope to endure when her life depends upon the stories told by others?

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Worth stepping out of your comfort zone

Would you listen to Burial Rites again? Why?

Yes, I'd like to listen again to pick up on some of the smaller details/descriptions


Who was your favorite character and why?

Agnes, the character really drew me in.


Which character – as performed by Morven Christie – was your favorite?

Agnes. Morven Christie is an amazing performer. As Agnes her often breathy tone really brought across the feeling of despair. All of the characters are done well. You hardly notice a change in her voice yet it sounds like different people are reading.


If you could rename Burial Rites, what would you call it?

Hmm not sure.


Any additional comments?

I bought this book purely based on the fact that Morven Christie was the narrator. I hadn't heard of it before and probably wouldn't have given it a second glance otherwise. I was not at all familiar with the real life event and found this work to be quite surprising and very interesting. I'm now off to google it to learn more :)

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- Leah

Heartfelt Story

This is such a great story...Used a box of tissues. Couldn't stop listening! Loved the characters! Could feel the harshness of the environment. Will listen again...
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- Monna

Book Details

  • Release Date: 08-29-2013
  • Publisher: Pan Macmillan Publishers Ltd