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The Mercies

by Kiran Millwood Hargrave

Historical Fiction Relationship Stories Sharing Diverse Voices Star Books

LoveReading View on The Mercies

Totally, completely, and utterly gorgeous, this is a beautifully written historical relationship tale with real bite. And can I just qualify the word relationship - this is about the relationships with family, community, fear, nature, as well as the more obvious love. A work of fiction inspired by history, the story begins on Christmas Eve in 1617 when a sudden and violent storm takes the lives of forty fishermen, leaving the stunned women folk learning to survive on their remote northerly Norwegian island. Still reeling from the tragedy, their lives turn in the most frightening direction when the King brings in sorcery laws and a commissioner is installed to root out evil. This is Kiran Millwood Hargrave’s debut adult novel, and I feel as though I have been waiting my reading life for it. The prologue hits with a huge sad inevitability. Kiran Millwood Hargrave writes with a sensitive and considerate pen, the descriptions are truly breathtaking. While there are some savage shocks in store, The Mercies is still a warm, thoughtful and touching read. Chosen as a Liz Robinson pick of the month, we also just had to include The Mercies as a LoveReading Star Book too.

Visit our 'Women's Words - 60+ works of feminist-minded fiction' to explore our collection of feminist-minded fiction from around the world, and across centuries.

Liz Robinson

The Mercies Synopsis

The Sunday Times Bestseller and BBC Radio 2 Book Club Pick 2020

For readers of Circe and The Handmaid’s Tale, Kiran Millwood Hargrave's The Mercies is a story about how suspicion can twist its way through a community, and about a love that could prove as dangerous as it is powerful.

Winter, 1617. The sea around the remote Norwegian island of Vardø is thrown into a reckless storm. A young woman, Maren, watches as the men of the island, out fishing, perish in an instant. Vardø is now a place of women.

Eighteen months later, a sinister figure arrives. Summoned from Scotland to take control of a place at the edge of the civilized world, Absalom Cornet knows what he needs to do to bring the women of the island to heel. With him travels his young wife, Ursa. In her new home, and in Maren, Ursa finds something she has never seen before: independent women. But Absalom sees only a place flooded with a terrible evil, one he must root out at all costs . . .

The Mercies Press Reviews

'Beautiful and chilling' Madeline Miller, author of Circe

'Took my breath away' Tracy Chevalier, author of Girl with a Pearl Earring

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9781529075076
Publication date: 08/07/2021
Publisher: Picador an imprint of Pan Macmillan
Format: Paperback

ISBN: 9781529005103
Publication date: 06/02/2020
Publisher: Picador an imprint of Pan Macmillan
Format: Hardback

Book Information

ISBN: 9781529075076
Publication date: 8th July 2021
Author: Kiran Millwood Hargrave
Publisher: Picador an imprint of Pan Macmillan
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 352 pages
Genres: Historical Fiction, Relationship Stories, Diverse Voices, Star Books,
Collections: 50+ Beautifully Written Books, Around the World in 80+ Historical Novels.,
Categories: Historical fiction, Historical romance, True stories of heroism, endurance & survival,

About Kiran Millwood Hargrave

More About Kiran Millwood Hargrave

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