One thing I love about being a reader is getting to compare the original books to the film adaptations. When it was announced that Burial Rites would be turned into a movie starring Jennifer Lawrence, I decided to give this title a try, despite the fact I hadn't heard much else about it the press. I'm so glad that I did. This was a beautifully written novel about Agnes Magnusdottir, the last person to be executed for murder in Iceland, and the people whose lives she touched, for good or for ill. Set in a stark landscape of ice floes, tundra and isolated northern farms, it is a story of secret passion, ambition and greed, where even the innocent could suffer terrible miscarriages of justice simply for being in the wrong place at the wrong time or having a less than spotless reputation. Nineteenth-century Iceland under Danish rule is a fascinating place, one seldom featured in fiction and I loved discovering parts of the culture through this darkly poetic story.
Meghan Casey (Staff) (Queen's Square Library)