The Mercies

Front Cover
Little, Brown, Feb 11, 2020 - Fiction - 352 pages
After the men in an Arctic Norwegian town are wiped out, the women must survive a sinister threat in this "perfectly told" 1600s parable of "a world gone mad" (Adriana Trigiani).
Finnmark, Norway, 1617. Twenty-year-old Maren Magnusdatter stands on the craggy coast, watching the sea break into a sudden and reckless storm. Forty fishermen, including her brother and father, are drowned and left broken on the rocks below. With the menfolk wiped out, the women of the tiny Arctic town of VardÝ must fend for themselves.
Three years later, a stranger arrives on their shore. Absalom Cornet comes from Scotland, where he burned witches in the northern isles. He brings with him his young Norwegian wife, Ursa, who is both heady with her husband's authority and terrified by it. In VardÝ, and in Maren, Ursa sees something she has never seen before: independent women. But Absalom sees only a place untouched by God, and flooded with a mighty evil. As Maren and Ursa are drawn to one another in ways that surprise them both, the island begins to close in on them, with Absalom's iron rule threatening VardÝ's very existence.
Inspired by the real events of the VardÝ storm and the 1621 witch trials, The Mercies is a story of love, evil, and obsession, set at the edge of civilization. One of the Best Books of the Year (Good Housekeeping)

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User Review  - shelleyraec - LibraryThing

The Mercies is a historical fiction novel from Kiran Millwood Hargrave, an award winning poet, playwright, and children’s author. As Hargrave explains in a note, The Mercies is inspired by historical ... Read full review

The Mercies

User Review  - Kiran Millwood Hargrave - Publishers Weekly

This dark, dramatic historical from Hargrave (The Girl of Ink & Stars) begins on Christmas Eve 1617 when 40 men from Norway’s remote island settlement of VardÝ die in a storm at sea, setting in motion ... Read full review

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About the author (2020)

Kiran Millwood Hargrave is a British author, poet, and playwright. Her debut book, The Girl of Ink & Stars, won the Waterstones Children's Book Prize, and British Children's Book of the Year. Her second book, The Island at the End of Everything, received starred reviews from Kirkus, Booklist, and VOYA. She holds degrees from both Oxford and Cambridge Universities, and lives by the river in Oxford. The Mercies is her debut novel for adults.

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