The Mercies: Exclusive Edition (Paperback)Kiran Millwood Hargrave (author)
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Taking a real-life witch trial as her inspiration, Hargrave’s adult debut weaves an atmospheric tale of self-sufficient womanhood and sexual suspicion in a tight-knit island community during the seventeenth century.
Exclusive Edition with stencilled edge
A standard edition is available here
Longlisted for the Jhalak Prize 2021
On Christmas Eve, 1617, the sea around the remote Norwegian island of Vardo 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 Vardo 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 Vardo to heel. With him travels his young wife, Ursa. In Vardo, 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 Vardo 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.
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Number of pages: 352
Dimensions: 197 x 130 mm
'...the author has created a world completely immersive and convincing' - The Telegraph
'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' - Madeline Miller
'A book for our times ... Millwood Hargrave is a whirlwind, storm-building talent' - Daisy Johnson, Man Booker Prize shortlisted author of Everything Under
'The Mercies took my breath away. A beautifully rendered portrait of a community, a landscape, a relationship, I read it with equal parts hope and dread. Kiran Millwood Hargrave has masterfully built up an incredible claustrophobic atmosphere, shot through with delicate intimacy. On finishing it I pressed the book to me, hoping to absorb some of her skill.' - Tracy Chevalier
'Absolutely stunning. The Mercies is a very special book.' - Louise O'Neill, author of Asking For It
'With her characteristic tenderness and prose that tides between the carnal and the sublime, Kiran Millwood Hargrave illuminates one of the darkest chapters of our history. In The Mercies, she sweeps us to a place that dazzles and reeks and chills to the bone, where the hearts of women roar louder than storms. She is an outstanding talent, and wherever her imagination sails next, I will follow' - Samantha Shannon
'The Mercies is storytelling at its most masterful. This is an exquisite tale of sisterhood, of love, of courage and of what happens when communities turn on each other. It is everything I could have desired in a book: beguiling plotting, stunning prose, and a profound understanding of human nature. I have nothing short of awe for Kiran Millwood Hargrave and all she has accomplished here. I raged, I laughed, I cried. I urge you to read this novel' - Elizabeth Macneal, author of The Doll Factory
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“You will be blown away!”
I am such a big fan of Kiran Millwood Hargrave, so when the publisher sent me an advance copy, I was so happy.
Dark, mysterious and clever. This book will have you turning pages to find out what happens.
It is a... More
This author writes exceptionally beautiful prose and weaves this story expertly around these true events. Raises lots of issues pertinent to the present day and carefully explores the emotions and consequences... More
“"Just because you do not speak it doesn't make it devilry"”
Maren lives with her mother, sister in law and her nephew. Life is hard on the small Norwegian island of Vardo. But it was not always as such, until Christmas Eve of 1617 when the menfolk are out in the water, without... More
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