SUMMARY Ô The Mercies

REVIEW The Mercies

SUMMARY Ô The Mercies ↠ ❴PDF / Epub❵ ☀ The Mercies Author Kiran Millwood Hargrave – 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 After a storm has killed off all Cks 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. 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 speak it doesn’t make it devilry’back in the reviewing saddleso no—as i anticipated this was not scary enough to be a true ‘october is spoooooky’ read and reviewing it in december feels even less spooky but it is an excellent book nonetheless; female fronted historical fiction that reminded me of the novels of jessie burton in its similarly strong character development its attention to detail and its perspective of women in a historical context and a time periodsetting that hasn’t already been done to death can we agree that we neverever need to publish another WWII novel The Mercies is based on the real true events which occurred in 1617 in a fishing village located on one of norway’s tiny islands—when a sudden freak storm came saw and conuered; assaulting the fishing boats that were just heading out with the majority of the village’s menfolk on board killing forty men in a matter of minutes this brief storm reduced the island’s population dramatically leaving behind only the women and girls the very young boys and elderly men to survive in an unforgiving climate whose livelihood had depended on their fishermen it was also a time where political power used religious devotion as a tool to get rid of undesirables you know that one time in history the island’s women have very little opportunity for grieving their husbands and sons; when their bodies wash ashore they are collected and stored until the ground becomes soft enough to allow for their burial and in the absence of able bodied men some of the women defy convention and take on the necessary task of fishing to prevent their people starving to death theirs is a village that has been long isolated from the greater world and has for the most part maintained a perfunctory relationship with religion although some are devout than others the island’s kirke is as much a town hall for the community to gather as it is a sacred place and the region’s indigenous sami people have contributed their own rituals to the fabric of the village one of these women has even married into the community; a woman named diinna made a widow by the storm whose family’s cultural influence has long been a part of life on the islandHer father is a noaidi a shaman of good standing Before the kirke was fully established their neighbor Baar Ragnvalsson and many other men went to him for charms against bad weather They had stopped lately with new laws brought in to ban such things but still Maren sees the small bone figures that the Sami say will protect against bad luck on most doorsteps Pastor Gursson always turned a blind eye though Toril and her ilk urged him to come down harder on such practicesafter the storm in the absence of male influence or supervision the women step up to fill the void; capable independent unbound by conventional roles and duties—one woman even going so far as to wear her late husband’s trousers his TROUSERSthe women are adjusting and getting by just fine on their own until the arrival of absalom cornet—a scottish commissioner and witch hunter with him is his new wife ursa a young woman accustomed to city life luxurious surroundings and servants; unprepared both for the barebones living conditions of the island and the homemaking duties of a wife cornet has been summoned by king’s orders to restore godliness to the island and is horrified by the presence of runes and other evidence of heathen savagery he encounters before long some of the devout women flutter under his masculine authority relieved and reassured by a man’s presence and to ingratiate themselves with him they begin to denounce their less conventional neighbors in the way of a

Kiran Millwood Hargrave Å 9 SUMMARY

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 witch trials The Mercies is a feminist story of love evil and obsession set at the edge of civilizatio. 3 stars Apparently inspired by true events to an extent although one can easily guess there was a certain amount of reality to it Not just in the way that women were treated but the overall sense of bleakness and eerie feeling that was constant throughout I am conflicted when it comes to this book I read it a couple of weeks ago and I thought I’d think on it for a while because I felt like I was supposed to like it I had a few issues with it but the biggest one was the fact that I just didn’t like the writing style This is a purely subjective observation and I’m sure as I’ve noticed from other reviews that no one or maybe very few people would cite that as a complaint against this book For me the writing has to connect me to the place and people that inhabit that place but here it just annoyed the heck out of me it kept pushing me out of the moment I would have to stop and be frustrated For someone who absolutely loves lyrical over the top sentimental and sometimes difficult uniue writing styles okay that’s basically almost every type of writing as long as it’s good I was uite shocked that I truly hated it and it mentally exhausted me because I had to force myself to disregard it in favour of the story itself I guess it just wasn’t for me and to be honest I forced myself to read this to the end because the story and the characters were actually interesting and I really wanted to know where it would all lead By the time I reached the end of the book I would retract my observation about the characters or the story I mean sure for a feminist historical novel it did all the right things and told a good story but I just didn’t connect with it Intellectually I am interested in the subject but again subjectively speaking this didn’t make me care feel be curios or anything that remotely resembles interest I believe this is a case of me not the book I’m only half lying when I say that D Just to end things on a informative note this novel did a good job at describing the setting the village the everyday chores at the time basically it did put you in the 1600’s Scandinavia not that I have anything to compare it to but it felt authentic so that’s a pro Another thing I liked was the friendship between Ursa and Maren which gives perspective to the story But neither of those things were enough to make me love or like this It gets 3 stars because even though I didn’t like it I can recognise that it’s not a story that deserves a lower rating either

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The MerciesAfter a storm has killed off all the island's men two women in a s Norwegian coastal village struggle to survive against both natural forces and the men who have been sent to rid the community of alleged witchcraftFinnmark Norway 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 ro. 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 the womenfolk bereft and without the means to provide for themselvesEighteen months later the women have become adept at catching fish and are finally able to look after themselves but their world is about to be turned upside down with the arrival of Absalom Cornet a God fearing man who has been summoned from his home in Scotland to bring the women of Vardo to heel and to ensure that they too are God fearing and worship at the local church but primarily unbeknownst to these women he’s also a witch finderThe main protagonists are Maren born and bred in Vardo who lost her father and brother in the storm and Absalom’s wife Ursa a woman of genteel breeding born and brought up in the city of Bergen who is trapped in a loveless arranged marriage Despite the fact that they come from completely different backgrounds Maren and Ursa soon form a bond and find solace in each other’s company but the whole village has much to fear where Absalom is concerned including his wifeThe writing is beautiful often crude echoing the privations of an impoverished community at the mercy of a ghastly climate The reader is overwhelmed by the bleak environment and the conditions it imposes Knowing ‘The Mercies’ was based on the real events of the Vardo storm and the witch trials of 1621 makes it even harder to read such is the brutality used against those accused of witchcraft but it’s hauntingly beautiful and highly recommendedThank you to Netgalley and Pan Macmillan Picador for my ARC for which I have given an honest unbiased review in exchange