Monthly Archives: April 2017

Review Wednesday – Burial Rites by Hannah Kent

I was drawn to this fictional account based around the last months in the life of Agnes Magnusdottir, the last woman to be executed in Iceland.

Recently there seem to have been a number of excellent books whose narrative is set in snowy wastes and that can add great atmosphere to the story. Burial Rites is no exception.

After being convicted and sentenced for her part in the murder of two men, the authorities send Agnes to a remote farm to await her fate. The year is 1829. The family are horrified by this enforced proximity to a convicted murderer and, at first, avoid contact with Agnes as much as possible. But when the summer months give way to the harsh Icelandic winter sheer survival compels all members of the household to work together and the farmer’s wife and daughters, along with Tóti,  a young priest charged with the task of ministering to Agnes during her final days, begin to see that the story of Agnes is not as straightforward as it first may have seemed.

The ending is, of course, already known. It is shocking as is some of the background detail, like the sourcing of the axe and who should pay for the execution.

I have to say that, for me, the beautiful writing failed to bring me closer to Agnes and though I felt a deep sorrow for her she remained a shadowy figure. In contrast that bleak, Icelandic countryside was ever present. Being turned out of an isolated farmstead was nothing short of a death sentence in itself. There was literally nowhere to go, no one to turn to and only the bitter landscape for company. No wonder, in such circumstances, women found themselves bound to their home, no matter what the conditions.

Burial Rites is a good story set around true events and a memorial to Agnes whose true part in the murders is not known. I listened to the audio book and mention must be made of the narrator Morven Christie who did an absolutely outstanding job of switching between English and Icelandic pronunciation. In less capable hands the audiobook would not have had the haunting impact that it did.

 

 

 

 

Author Spotlight – Wendy Unsworth

Thank you so much to Aurora Jean at The Writer’s Treasure Chest for this feature about my work today!

Writer's Treasure Chest

Welcome! 

Please introduce yourself. 

Hello and thank you so much for inviting me here today.

My name is Wendy Unsworth. I am originally from Lincolnshire in the north east of England but I haven’t lived there since my twenties. A lifelong love and curiosity about travel has taken me and my family to many places and for thirteen years we lived in Central and East  Africa. We returned to England and spent some years in Cornwall and made our home in a cottage that was built in 1750. There are good and bad points in living in such an old property, but mostly good! These days I spend my time between Scotland  and the wilds of Portugal as we have family in both of those countries.

 

  1. When did you start writing?

Reading interviews such as these, it’s interesting to note that most authors tend to say that…

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Creating a Universal Amazon Link – One Link Amazon Sites in all Countries

I signed up to Booklinker the last time Don posted about this great service. It is such a time-saver!

Don Massenzio's Blog

I posted this tip a while ago and got some positive feedback. If you set up buying links for your books, many of you are probably posting Amazon links for each country that you think your book will likely realize some sales.

There is no need to do this.

I was getting frustrated when I ran a free book promotion weekend and experimented with placing a Facebook ad that reached out to multiple countries. My dilemma with doing this is that I didn’t have a way to post all of the links for the various Amazon sites in other countries on my ad without it looking clumsy.

I searched for a way to create a universal link for my book. A universal link, when clicked by a potential reader, is designed to take them to my book on the appropriate Amazon page for their country.

All they needed to do was…

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