Australia has a new literary darling. Hannah Kent has executed her first novel with such eloquence that at times the words slip so easily together, you cannot help but read them over again. Burial Rites has given a voice to Agnes Magnúsdóttir, the last woman to be beheaded in Iceland in the year of 1829, and follows the journey she is subjected to in the months leading up to her death. Although I am far from an icelandic setting, her brutally poetic prose make you feel like you are weaving within the pages of ice and the struggles of peasant life as Agnes tries to come to terms with her inevitable fate during the harsh winter months under the care of her authority appointed guardians. The suspense is so cleverly formatted, that at times I forgot what was to be an unavoidable ending. As I continue to work on my first Novel, which is situated in another era, another country and a world so foreign to what I know, I applaud Hannah Kents’ bravery as she tackles her first Novel taking these challenges in her stride. A beautiful read.