Book Review: Burial Rites
I just finished reading a very beautifully depressing book, Burial Rites by Hannah Kent. I was avoiding it for its really sad content, but then I was in the right mood for it. I still think about it. It's haunting in a way and its effects are lasting. It is based on a real story from the history of Denmark about the last execution that happened there. The story was about the woman/murderess that was sentenced to death and the waiting period of her sentence until the execution date. She was placed with a normal family, who were farmers, for the lack of a prison. The reverend came to see her to help her prepare for her awaiting fate and she used that time to tell him about her life story, her struggles and the incident/murder. The setting is interesting and I would not have read about that part of the world or known anything about their traditions if it wasn't for this book. The author has done an intensive amount of research for writing the book, which was worth it because she lists everything in great detail. Worth a read, but be warned of the sadness that might hit you during!
My favourite quotes from the books:
"As though prayer could simply pluck sin out. But any woman knows that a thread, once woven, is fixed in place; the only way to smooth a mistake is to let it all unravel."
"I feel drunk with summer and sunlight. I want to seize fistfuls of sky and eat them."
"People claim to know you through the things you’ve done, and not by sitting down and listening to you speak for yourself."
"It’s written so deeply upon my mind I can almost taste the ink."
"Death happened, and in the usual way that it happens, and yet, not like anything else at all."
"Reverend, do you think that I’m here because when I was a child I said I wanted to die? Because, when I said it, I meant it. I pronounced it like a prayer. I hope I die. Did I author my own fate, then?"
"I provide her with a final audience to her life’s lonely narrative."
"everything comes in threes."
"there was some comfort in talking about death aloud, as though in naming things, you could prevent them from happening."
"I loved him because he made me feel I was enough."
"those hidden bruises suggested something more – an end to the stifling ordinariness of existence. I hated it when they faded. They were all I had of his to keep for myself until he came again."
"the clouds hang still in the air like dead bodies."
"Snow lay over the valley like linen, like a shroud waiting for the dead body of sky that slumped overhead."