Always looking for a book set in a distant land that we've either visited or are planning to visit, I ran across Burial Rites by Hannah Kent. It takes place in Iceland, a destination we would love to revisit. But this story takes place in the early 1800s. The novel is based on a true story of a recorded murder in 1829 and the young woman who was accused of it. Here's the blurb from Amazon:
Set against Iceland's stark landscape, Hannah Kent brings to vivid life the story of Agnes, who, charged with the brutal murder of her former master, is sent to an isolated farm to await execution.
Horrified at the prospect of housing a convicted murderer, the family at first avoids Agnes. Only Tóti, a priest Agnes has mysteriously chosen to be her spiritual guardian, seeks to understand her. But as Agnes's death looms, the farmer's wife and their daughters learn there is another side to the sensational story they've heard.
Riveting and rich with lyricism, BURIAL RITES evokes a dramatic existence in a distant time and place, and asks the question: How can one woman hope to endure when her life depends upon the stories told by others?
The story is one that builds on your interest and, along with the other characters in the story, you want the story to reveal itself to see if she really did it. A good look at early life in Iceland, I truly wondered how any of those early people survived. Great read to take along on the road.