Friday, February 1, 2013
I started reading Hanah Kent’s Burial Rites on a Friday evening, and finished it on Saturday morning having reluctantly paused to sleep but other than that having barely moved an inch. When I did finish it I sat very still and waited for my emotions and my imagination to come back to me. I was so utterly swept away by the scope of darkness and humanity and simplicity and complexity and pain and beauty of Burial Rites that it took me a while to come back to earth. It is one of the most moving and beautifully written books I have ever read. I wanted to eat the words up with a spoon and swallow them whole.
I don’t tend to review books on this blog that I don’t like, but normally I am quite unbothered about whether anyone takes my thoughts to heart and decides to read something I have blogged about or not. This is different. I want everyone to read this book so badly that it makes me want to cry. It is wonderful on a scale that features A S Byatt and Edith Wharton and Richard Yates. Seriously, this is an incredible read. The language is delicate and the story is bloody and dirty and sad and it is an overwhelming, fantastic combination.
Often when I read a book that I love, I think about the people I know who I think would like it. My most bookish and literary friends came immediately to mind with Burial Rites, but the more I thought about it, the more people came to mind; the friend who normally only reads Sci Fi, the friend who doesn’t have much time to read, the old boss who likes books about cats and Grandmothers solving crimes, the ex-flatmate who prefers non-fiction… It is such a beautifully realised story that anyone who appreciates good writing cannot fail to adore Kent’s book. That means YOU!!