Hello, and welcome to the Literary Blog Hop! This is a thrice yearly giveaway hop hosted by Leeswammes’ Blog. I, along with 38 other bloggers, am giving away a book of literary merit to one lucky reader!
If you’re a regular reader, it’s lovely to see you again, and if you’re visiting Books Speak Volumes for the first time, I’m thrilled to meet you! I’m super excited to participate in this giveaway for the first time. I couldn’t decide which book I wanted to give away, so I’m letting you choose — kind of. I picked my three favorite books published in 2013, and the winner gets to pick which one he/she would like to receive!
“Those who are not being dragged to their deaths cannot understand how the heart grows hard and sharp, until it is a nest of rocks with only an empty egg in it. I am barren; nothing will grow from me anymore. I am the dead fish drying in the cold air. I am the dead bird on the shore. I am dry, I am not certain I will bleed when they drag me out to meet the axe. No, I am still warm, my blood still howls in my veins like the wind itself, and it shakes the empty nest and asks where all the birds have gone, where have they gone?”
— Burial Rites by Hannah Kent
“I remain quiet. I am determined to close myself to the world, to tighten my heart and hold onto what has not yet been stolen from me. I cannot let myself slip away. I will hold what I am inside, and keep my hands tight around all the things I have seen and heard, and felt. The poems composed as I washed and scythed and cooked until my hands were raw. The sagas I know by heart. I am sinking all I have left and going underwater. If I speak, it will be in bubbles of air. They will not be able to keep my words for themselves. They will see the whore, the madwoman, the murderess, the female dripping blood into the grass and laughing with her mouth choked with dirt. They will say “Agnes” and see the spider, the witch caught in the webbing of her own fateful weaving. They might see the lamb circled by ravens, bleating for a lost mother. But they will not see me. I will not be there.”
— Burial Rites by Hannah Kent
by Hannah Kent
Little, Brown; Sept. 10, 2013
Hardcover; 336 pages
Source: Provided by publisher for review
In 1828, Agnes Magnusdottir was executed for her role in the murders of two men. She was the last person to receive capital punishment in Iceland, and her character sparks controversy to this day. Was she “an inhumane witch, stirring up murder,” as some accounts claim, or was she simply a victim of circumstance?
Burial Rites reimagines the months leading up to Agnes’ death. Because Iceland doesn’t have its own jails at the time, she is sent to live with the family of a district officer to await her execution. Jon’s wife and daughters are leery of having a convicted murderess in the house, and everyone fearfully avoids her at first. Her only confessor is Toti, the inexperienced priest she has chosen to be her spiritual guardian. Gradually, she begins to share her version of her story, revealing details about her childhood, relationships, and the circumstances surrounding the murders. Continue reading