This novel imagines the last months of Agnes Magnusdottir who was beheaded for arson and murder in Iceland in 1830.
While the decision went to be confirmed she lived with a minor district official’s family. She worked hard, recovered a little from her traumatic experience and the family accepted her as she awaited execution.
Kent researched old parish and legal records to create an extraordinarily moving portrait of poverty and class in Icelandic peasantry.
Burial rites by Hannah Kent, Picador £12.99