The Mercies

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Pub Date 11 Feb 2020 | Archive Date 11 Mar 2021

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Description

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. One of the Best Books of the Year USA TodayGood Housekeeping
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...

Advance Praise

"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, New York Times bestselling author of Circe


"The Mercies took my breath away. A beautifully rendered portrait of a community, a landscape, and a relationship. I read it with equal parts hope and dread. Kiran 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, New York Times bestselling author of Girl With a Pearl Earring


"The Mercies is both harrowing and beautiful. Through mesmerizing prose, Kiran Millwood Hargrave depicts the brutality of life for women on an isolated island in 1620 Norway during the witch trials. Yet amidst this horror and within the punishing landscape, she creates a set of brilliant characters and a moving love story full of tenderness and hope. This is a book to be savored and read time and again."—Jenny Quintana, author of The Missing Girl


"Every once in a while, a modern day parable, perfectly told, reflects all that could happen in a world gone mad. Kiran Millwood Hargrave has written a novel for our times with artistry and skill. Maren's story is powerful, at turns, it is disturbing, and ultimately illuminating. You will ponder it long after you finish this magnificent work."—Adriana Trigiani New York Times bestselling author of Tony's Wife and Kiss Carlo

"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...


Marketing Plan

Social media campaign

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Digital assets, including book trailer, animated jacket, and graphics


Social media campaign

Extensive book club outreach

Early consumer giveaways

Digital assets, including book trailer, animated jacket, and graphics



Available Editions

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ISBN 9780316529259
PRICE $27.00 (USD)

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