The Mercies

The Mercies

by Kiran Millwood Hargrave

Hardcover

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Overview

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 Vardø 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 Vardø, 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 Vardø's very existence.
 
Inspired by the real events of the Vardø storm and the 1621 witch trials, The Mercies is a story of love, evil, and obsession, set at the edge of civilization.
 
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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780316529259
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Publication date: 02/11/2020
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 20,422
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author

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.

What People are Saying About This

New York Times bestselling author of Circe - Madeline Miller

“A gripping novel inspired by a real-life witch hunt. Hargrave's prose is visceral and immersive; the muddy, cold life and politics of a fishing village leap to vivid life. But her most vital insights are about the human heart: how terrifyingly quickly prejudices can turn into murder, and how desperately we need love and courage to oppose it. Beautiful and chilling.”

Customer Reviews