I absolutely loved this book!
Set in the desolate countryside of 19th century Iceland, Agnes awaits her execution. There are no prisons to hold her and Agnes is sent to live her final months with the family of a low standing government official.
Toti is an assistant reverend summoned to guide Agnes’s spirit to peace. Despite his orders to lead Agnes in prayer and verse, Toti is overwhelmed by his desire to understand her and instead takes the role of a friend, offering to listen to her story.
Agnes begins with her childhood, orphaned, homeless, moving from farm to farm, and continues into her adulthood until finally she comes to her time with Natan. Natan, the man she’s accused of murdering, called a sorcerer by some, a clever herbalist by others.
We quickly learn that in a land fraught with rumors, there’s no certainty of truth in any story.
The family – husband, ailing wife, and two daughters – cannot help but listen to Agnes’s tale and while some begin feeling sympathetic, others are hardened. Relationships form while others threaten to crack under the tension of Agnes’s presence.
Did Agnes truly murder Natan? Is she a danger to the family?
Kent tells a story within a story, captivating Toti, the family, and the reader with Agnes’s tale. A fantastic read – emotional and thought provoking. Highly recommend!