by Hannah Kent
Burial Rites was my first book of this year. I finished it while I was on the train from York to South Wales, a fairly long journey in which you need plenty of things to keep you occupied, after visiting a friend of mine for New Year. It was a fantastic New Year, probably one of the best I've ever had; York is a gorgeous city, and we brought in the New Year standing outside York Minster while the bells chimed. New Year's Day we spent the day inside where it was warm, snuggled in bed, ordered pizza and binge-watched the first three seasons of Parks + Rec. Like I said, it was a great New Year.
Burial Rites is a brilliant read for the winter time because of its setting in the harsh Icelandic countryside, although it's well worth reading any time of the year because of its content. It's based on the story of Agnes Magnúsdóttir, the last woman to be executed in Iceland after being accused of murdering her employer. This book is heartbreaking, and Kent's writing is just stunning. I ended up tearing up on the train and getting some very peculiar looks from people.
Whether you like historical fiction or not, give this beautiful debut novel a read.