Ok, so I have to admit that I am (more than) a little late to the party but I recently discovered Booktube. Embarrassing I agree but there we are, it is out. Anyway, looking at people book hauls I came across the above books and thought they sounded quite interesting. I was horrified to find that our library has raised its reservation fees but nevertheless 3 were reserved and as usual all came in at the same time. So there you have it, I have a busy month ahead of me, it's a good job I've got 2 weeks off!
I would like to thank Picador for providing me with an advanced reading copy of this book.
The Good People is an engaging, emotional, and at times an uncomfortable read. It's beautifully written and pulls the reader into a world that oozes atmosphere and superstition. I really enjoyed it. I felt like I was there, that I knew these people and was a part of their world. A world that was so easily pictured, right down to the smallest of leaves on the trees, the ripples on the water, and the smells in the air. I could see everything clearly as I read. The characters felt real to me. I felt their pain, I lived, hoped, dreamed, and struggled alongside them.
I particularly loved the lore and superstition surrounding the faeries. The belief that illness, bad crop yields, and animals not producing were because of the faeries being angered, and the way daily rituals were carried out to protect harvests, households, families, and to keep food on the table, totally captivated me. I have fond memories of my grandparents doing similar things for the "wee folk". I remember as a child making small trinkets and gifts to leave around the farm for the wee folk, pouring fresh milk from the goats into a bowl on the doorstep, and also leaving out honey and oatcakes. I did the same with my own children when they were growing up, they used to leave gifts for the faeries under the tree in the garden.
Definitely, one I would recommend. I will be reading more from this author in the near future.
Set against Iceland's stark landscape, Hannah Kent brings to vivid life the story of Agnes, who, charged with the brutal murder of her former master, is sent to an isolated farm to await execution.
Horrified at the prospect of housing a convicted murderer, the family at first avoids Agnes. Only Tóti, a priest Agnes has mysteriously chosen to be her spiritual guardian, seeks to understand her. But as Agnes's death looms, the farmer's wife and their daughters learn there is another side to the sensational story they've heard.
Riveting and rich with lyricism, BURIAL RITES evokes a dramatic existence in a distant time and place, and asks the question, how can one woman hope to endure when her life depends upon the stories told by others?
Burial Rites is one of those truth is stranger than fiction but fiction isn't as forgiving even when the truth (certain versions of it anyway - which is kind of the point) sets you free kind of reads. Its fairly gut wrenching and very slow paced but there's also a kind of method to the madness in the form that like life no one can truly know the whole story (considering the book is loosely based on actual events) its depicted and executed very well. Although Burial Rites should come with a content warning I believe the graphic detail is sort of warranted because it really brings to light just how extreme a situation it is and the way that situation can affect a person so readers really get a better grounding in what Kent is trying to get across. (Note, I prefer the cover on the print edition I have over the new digital one. I feel it suits the emotional environment better than the new one) Four stars for Burial Rites.