My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Artfully written, meticulously researched, a triumph of a debut for a young author. Although ‘Burial Rites’ is not an easy read – there are too many unfamiliar names and phrases derived from Icelandic for that – it is a delightful read. The descriptions are sensuous and kinesthetic. You feel as if you are right there with the characters, enduring the wind or rain or the snow.
As an example, let me share with you the scene of Agnes toiling at the harvest.
‘I let my body swing, I let my arms fall. I feel the muscles of my stomach contract and twist. The scythe rises, falls, rises, falls, catches the sun across its blade and flicks the light back into my eye – a bright wink of God. I watch you, the scythe says, rippling through the green sea, catching the sun, casting it back to me.’
Simply beautiful! I could read descriptions like that all day.