Archive | May 19, 2013

Burial Rites by Hannah Kent


Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant.

Read it!

You know the ending but that doesn’t stop you wanting to read on, hoping against hope for a different ending.

The prose is beautiful. You are transported to Iceland and feel the hunger, the poverty, the closeness of the living conditions, juxtaposed with the apparent distance that travel by foot and harsh weather creates.

The characters are so real, so alive, so concrete; even those that do not speak you come to know.

This is a book that is both of the intellect and visceral. Perhaps it is due to the apparent accuracy of the detail of life at the time of the novel’s setting or perhaps it is due to the prose.

The powerlessness of the poor and of women is not laboured. There is no beating you over the head to understand the themes.

One of those little, pithy supportive quotes on the back cover does express it so well (well, der, that is why it is there). So gripping I wanted to rush through the pages, but so beautifully written I wanted to linger over every sentence. I was equally torn. I wanted to see how the characters developed, to see what happened, to find out “the truth”. But I often felt I was rushing and not doing justice to the writing. Only once did I find a simile grated. The descriptions were so evocative, of the time, of the place, of the drama! I find myself wanting to know more about Iceland.

This is just out. Don’t wait! Be a joiner. Get it!

Watch the video here. Very evocative. And listen to Kent being interviewed here.

Now time for today’s log:

  • 1. Did I have a laugh today?
  • Yes.

  • 2. Did I give someone a hug today?
  • Check.

  • 3. Did I do a relaxation activity, such as read a book, have a bath, light a candle, dream, call someone and have a chat, sit in the sun?
  • Yes, finished this wonderful book.

  • 4. Did I do something good for someone else or be nice to someone?
  • Does giving a positive review to a young new Australian writer count?

    Today’s decluttered item = a glass given to me by my mother. She is a teetotaller and thought I would like this to drink my bubbles. But it is impractical – can’t go in the dishwasher and doesn’t tip well. So it is off to the charity shop with some bubble wrap I kept just in case. And, hey look, it turned out I did need some!