The Mercies

The Mercies Book Details

After a storm has killed off all the island's men, two women in a 1600s Norwegian coastal village struggle to survive against both natural forces and the men who have been sent to rid the community of alleged witchcraft.

Finnmark, Norway, 1617. Twenty-year-old Maren Bergensdatter 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 Northern town of Vardø must fend for themselves.

Three years later, a sinister figure arrives. 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 pushed together and 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 1620 witch trials, The Mercies is a feminist story of love, evil, and obsession, set at the edge of civilization.

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Title:The Mercies
Edition Language:English
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    The Mercies Reviews

  • Maureen

    Vardo, Norway, Christmas Eve 1617, a remote northern settlement where a storm of unusually immense and vicious proportions, completely wipes out the menfolk in this small fishing community, leaving th...

  • Beata

    Reading this novel was like a feast to me. For one thing, the setting and all details included in this book are splendid. Scenery, clothes, food or architectural descriptions are splendidly researched...

  • Emer (A Little Haze)

    'The Mercies' is Kiran Millwood Hargrave's first adult fiction novel having previously written both middle grade and YA novels. I had previously read her book 'The Island at the End of Everything' and...

  • karen

    NOW AVAILABLE!!I remember once when runes gave you comfort, when sailors came to my father to cast bones and tell them of their time left to come. They are a language, Maren. Just because you do not s...

  • Diane S ?

    Finmark, Norway, 1617 in the fishing town of Vardo, a storm sweeps in, causing the deaths of forty men. All the names left are the elderly, the very young and the village cleric. Now, the women must f...

  • Fran

    Christmas Eve, 1617. "...the storm comes in like a finger snap...the sea and sky clashing like a mountain splitting...All about her, other mothers, sisters, daughters are throwing themselves at the we...

  • Lisa

    [4+] Over the last few days I have been transported to an isolated fishing village in 17th century Norway. When all the able bodied men perish in a storm, women must step into the men's roles to survi...

  • Collin

    Norway 1617, the town of Vardo. Maren Bergensdatter and Diinna are just two of the women who have made their way through the slashing rain to the edge of their island to watch a terrible, colossal sto...

  • Judith E

    After reading this Im not sure which makes me angrier - the arrogance of the Protestant church including murder under the guise of Christianity, the racist prejudices against a minority, or the abusiv...

  • Sara

    ARC received in exchange for an honest review 🌊Atmospheric and beautifully written, The Mercies takes inspiration from the real life disaster of 1617 where 40 men drowned on Christmas Eve off the c...