Based on a true story, this book tells of the last few months of Agnes’s life. She has been sentenced to death for murdering her former master. Agnes is forced to live out her last days on a farm, the family and the helpers are wary of her and the only person who will talk to her is a priest nicknamed Tóti. As they all get to know her though they learn there is much more to her and her life than they expected.
This is achingly haunting tale. I listened to this as an audiobook and the woman who read it had a soft, lilting voice that at times just evoked such sadness and anguish when telling Agnes’s story it was hard not to get drawn in. It was moving and the ending was unexpected, but I don’t think it could have been as moving if it didn’t end the way it did.
Though very well, and even beautifully written it was inevitably a depressing book, talking about someone who is destined to die and recounting the death of someone they supposedly murdered and what led up to it and how it actually happened. And yet… I was still riveted by it. By the beauty of Agnes, her innocence and mysticism.
So moving, but if you read this book, there is no comic relief. It is bleak, haunting, chilling and beautifully told all at once. If you do read this book, I’d strongly recommend getting the audiobook read by Morven Christie to get the full impact of emotion in this book.