Author(s): Kiran Millwood Hargrave
On Christmas Eve, 1617, the sea around the remote Norwegian island of Vardø is thrown into a reckless storm. As Maren Magnusdatter watches, forty fishermen, including her father and brother, are lost to the waves, the menfolk of Vardø wiped out in an instant. Now the women must fend for themselves. 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 Vardø to heel. With him travels his young wife, Ursa. In Vardø, and in Maren, Ursa finds something she has never seen before: independent women. But Absalom sees only a place untouched by God and flooded with a mighty and terrible evil, one he must root out at all costs. Inspired by the real events of the Vardø storm and the 1621 witch trials, Kiran Millwood Hargrave's The Mercies is a story about how suspicion can twist its way through a community, and a love that may prove as dangerous as it is powerful.
The Mercies by Kiran Millwood Hargrave
The women living on the remote island of Vardo are tough and capable. Nevertheless, their lives become much harder after all the men in their small community are lost to sea during a tremendous storm. As food becomes scarce, resentment stirs. With the arrival of an over zealous religious enforcer, the commissioner, battle lines are drawn and imaginations run wild. Friendships and family bonds are stretched to breaking point and those who stray but a little from the well trod path are suddenly in grave peril. The Mercies is a grim dark tale, as much a thriller as a drama. The danger was so palpable it was hard to put this book down between chapters for fear of what was coming next... and it is always as bad as you think it will be. Or worse. Emilie