As head prefect of the Fibro Club, I now declare this meeting open. Everyone have their glass of wine and their thoughts in order? Excellent.
I’ve had several actual, real life conversations about our book, Burial Rites, over the past week. We all agreed that we knew from page one that it wasn’t going to end well. When the book is about the last person executed in Iceland, you know you’re not looking at a happily ever after. But somehow that didn’t seem to matter.
The reason I chose this book as our first selection was that it is one of those books. Debut author. International two-book deal worth $1 million. This book had something going on. Everyone said so.
There is no denying that there is a lot of grim in Hannah Kent’s book. A lot of cold. One of the people I spoke to this week didn’t feel that there were enough words to really convey the sense of place, but I really enjoyed the sparse nature of Kent’s prose. To me, the sense of place built, word by word, page by page, along with the intimacy as the inevitability of the story inched forward, revealing itself under all that snow.
“Slow” was another word that came up a lot. It is a slow tale and, yes, a bleak one in many ways, but I found it intensely interesting. Strong female characters. An otherness in the setting. Historic detail. And, always, that slowly unravelling story.
Ultimately satisfying – for me, if not for Agnes.
What did you think? Share your thoughts here or pop over to the Fibro Club Facebook page to join the discussion.