Burial Rites by Hannah Kent - November Book of the Month


2014 is drawing to a close, and we couldn't help noticing one particular book keeps popping up on the boards as many Mumsnetters' top read of the year.

Set in northern Iceland, 1829, this deeply moving novel follows the plight of Agnes Magnúsdóttir, a real woman who was condemned to death for her part in the brutal murder of two men. In the lead-up to her execution, Agnes lives on a rural farm with a District Officer and his family, who are repelled by her. Only Tóti, the young assistant reverend who acts as Agnes's spiritual guardian, will speak to her and attempt to understand what truly happened.

With a burning suspense and exceptionally evocative atmosphere, the novel explores ideas of identity and freedom, all set against Iceland's extraordinary landscape.

Shortlisted for the 2014 Baileys' Prize and currently longlisted for the 2014 Guardian First Book Award, Burial Rites has certainly been one of the debuts of the year.

What Mumsnetters said about Burial Rites:

'Beautifully written and very evocative.'

'The ending just stunned me.'

This book giveaway is sponsored by
Picador Books

'Absolutely loved it, very atmospheric - unputdownable in my opinion.'

'Brilliant - reminded me of Alias Grace. The weather was like a character in itself… Heartbreaking.'

'Absolutely loved this book, the writing and the story. I am not usually a big reader of historical fiction but was completely absorbed by Iceland in the 1800s and just wanted to recommend! One of the books I've most enjoyed this year and I have read a lot of good ones.'

Apply for one of 50 free copies of the book below.


About the author

Hannah Kent was born in Adelaide in 1985. She is the co-founder and publishing director of Australian literary journal Kill Your Darlings, and is completing her PhD at Flinders University. In 2011 she won the inaugural Writing Australia Unpublished Manuscript Award. Burial Rites is her first novel.

Take a look at pictures of Hannah's European book tour, and all the prizes that the book has won across the world here.  


Q&A with Hannah Kent

We are delighted that Hannah is able to answer everyone's questions via an emailed Q&A – once you've read your copy, please come and discuss the book here on the thread and post your question for Hannah. We will gather up all the questions on 8 December, and post Hannah's answers the following week on 15 December.


Book giveaway

Picador have 50 copies to give to lucky Mumsnetters: to apply for yours please fill in your details below. We'll post on the thread when all the copies have gone. If you're not lucky enough to bag one of the free books, you can always get your copy here.



Last updated: about 3 years ago