Auntie Doris’s Book Club #14: “Burial Rites” by Hannah Kent


If there’s one thing that everyone knows about Iceland it is that it’s ruddy freezing there. The clue is in the name. I can’t imagine anyone ever wanting to go for their holidays there, and if they did, reading this book would soon put them off. According to “Burial Rites” Iceland isn’t just ruddy freezing, but full of horrible people into the bargain. At least it was about 190 years ago, when the story takes place. I suppose that since those days they have had central heating fitted in most people’s houses, so they might be a bit more cheerful. Mind you, most of the people on the council estate near where I used to live had central heating, and it didn’t stop them getting drunk and arguing with each other in the street, being sick in each other’s gardens and occasionally murdering each other.

If I was you and I was planning to go on holiday to Iceland. I wouldn’t believe everything they put in the brochures. I would go on that Trip Advisor thing fist, and make sure that you went with a reputable firm.

Any road, there has certainly been some drunken arguing and being sick and murdering going on in Iceland in this story, which concerns a young lass who has been sentenced to be executed for stabbing her ex boyfriend to death. And they execute them by chopping off their heads with a ruddy axe out there. So if you do go out there for your holidays don’t think of stuffing any ruddy heroin up your arse, because there will probably be dire consequences.

The thing is, that there weren’t any proper prisons in those days, so they billeted the poor lass with local farming family (a bit like the Waltons – only more miserable) and she had to work for them whilst they sorted out the finer details of her grisly end.

They didn’t even lock her up. If she had tried running away she would have just frozen to death, so there was no point.

The vicar comes to visit her, and he takes a bit of a shine to her and you get to find out all the details of what she had done and why she did it, and by the end of the book you quite like her, although you wouldn’t want her anywhere near your cutlery drawer.

Apparently its a true story an’all. I won’t tell you what happens in the end, because I don’t want to spoil it for you, but If I was you I would have a hanky handy, and a bottle of sherry if you want to sleep any time soon after finishing it.

The lass who wrote it comes from Australia as well. Apparently she put in days and weeks and months of research in order to get all the details right about snow and ice and cold winds, it must have been really hard for her to imagine what it must be like to feel cold. Well done her I say! It’s a really good read, and I would recommend it to anyone.

2 thoughts on “Auntie Doris’s Book Club #14: “Burial Rites” by Hannah Kent

  1. Pingback: Top 60 Underrated Rock/Indie/Pop-Punk/Alternative Bands 2013 (part 6)

You are allowed to comment... I don't ruddy bite, you know...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s