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Extended Audio Sample Burial Rites: A Novel, by Hannah Kent Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Hannah Kent Narrator: Morven Christi Publisher: Hachette Book Group Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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A brilliant literary debut, inspired by a true story: the final days of a young woman accused of murder in Iceland in 1829

Set against Iceland’s stark landscape, Hannah Kent brings to vivid life the story of Agnes, who, charged with the brutal murder of her former master, is sent to an isolated farm to await execution.

Horrified at the prospect of housing a convicted murderer, the family at first avoids Agnes. Only Tóti, a priest Agnes has mysteriously chosen to be her spiritual guardian, seeks to understand her. But as Agnes’s death looms, the farmer’s wife and their daughters learn there is another side to the sensational story they’ve heard.

How can one woman hope to endure when her life depends upon the stories told by others?

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Here is an original new voice, with a deep and lovely grasp of language and story... Burial Rites is an accomplished gem, its prose as crisp and sparkling as its northern setting.”

    Geraldine Brooks, winner of the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel March

  • “Hannah Kent's gorgeous and haunting Burial Rites will touch your heart.”

    Charlotte Rogan, New York Times bestselling author

  • “A brooding, atmospheric debut.”

    Entertainment Weekly

  • “An excellent premise.... [and] a gripping tale about what Agnes was actually guilty of.”

    New York Times

  • “Enticing.... Kent...convincingly animates Agnes...showing her headstrong humanity and heart-wrenching thirst for life.”

    Wall Street Journal

  • “Bleak and beautiful.... Kent handles her starkly austere story with uncanny precision and an utter lack of sentiment.”

    Washington Post

  • “Gorgeously atmospheric.... [with] memorable, complex characters.”

    New Yorker

  • “A gripping narrative of love and murder that inhabits a landscape and time frame as bleak and unforgiving as the crime and punishment that occurred there.”

    San Francisco Chronicle

  • Burial Rites is a debut of rare sophistication and beauty—a simple but moving story, meticulously researched and hauntingly told.”

    Guardian (UK)

  • “A magical exercise in artful literary fiction.”

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

  • “Rarely has a country’s starkness and extreme weather been rendered so exquisitely. The harshness of the landscape and the lifestyle of nineteenth-century Iceland, with its dank turf houses and meager food supply, is as finely detailed as the heartbreak and tragedy of Agnes’s life…[A] haunting reading.”

    Booklist (starred review)

  • “This compulsively readable novel entertains while illuminating a significant but little-known true story. Highly recommended.”

    Library Journal (starred review)

  • “A novel based on the final weeks of the last woman executed in Iceland may sound off-putting, but Hannah Kent’s novel is involving and moving listening. As narrated by the talented Morven Christie, the story unfolds in a considered fashion…And her thoughtful pace beautifully evokes the isolated setting and timeless nature of the story.”


  • Selected for the Fall 2013 Barnes & Noble Discover Award
  • Selected for the September 2013 Indie Next List
  • A Barnes & Noble Best Book for September 2013
  • An Amazon Top 100 Book of 2013
  • An Amazon Best Book of the Month for September 2013
  • A 2013 BookPage Best Book
  • A 2014 Indies Choice Award Honoree for Adult Debut
  • A 2013 Guardian First Book Award Nominee
  • A 2014 Barry Award Nominee for Best First Novel
  • A September 2013 LibraryReads Pick
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About the Author

Hannah Kent was born in Adelaide, Astralia, in 1985. As a teenager, she traveled to Iceland on the Rotary Youth Exchange program, where she first heard the story of Agnes Magnusdottir. She is the co-founder and deputy editor of Australian literary journal Kill Your Darlings, and in 2011 she won the inaugural Writing Australia Unpublished Manuscript Award.

About the Narrator

Morven Christie, actress and voice artist, was born in 1979 in Helensburgh, Glasgow, Strathclyde, Scotland. Her movie acting roles include The Young Victoria, Hollow, and House of 9. Her narration of Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein earned an AudioFile Earphones Award.