(4 / 5) The Mercies – Kiran Millwood Hargrave
I adore a good historical fiction novel with strong and interesting females protagonists! This book absolutely fit-the-bill! I also learned so much about Norway, the geography of Scandinavia, and the relations between the native peoples, white settlers, and the Christian incursion of the area.
At the very northern tip of Norway, lies a village called Vardo which suffered tremendous loss and heartache when a once-in-a-lifetime storm took the lives of nearly all of the men living in the village and the women, children, and elderly were left to fend for themselves. Unsurprisingly, the women find ways to survive and even thrive by bucking conventional gender roles and doing what is necessary to keep themselves and their families fed and warm. The village is getting by until a newcomer arrives with his wife, both of whom subscribe to strict gender norms which causes rising tension within the community.
As the newcomer and his wife continue to live and socialize with the women of the village, Lady Cornet finds new friendships and possibly even more with one particular Vardo woman. Her husband however, finds sin and witchcraft in the women living in Vardo and plenty of folks ready and willing to accuse others of witchcraft in order to save themselves.
This story was quite intriguing and unique. Hargrave utilizes the general historical information to create a story of love and survival in an inhospitable land. I have already recommended this novel to my Mom so I have no problem recommending it to anyone interested in learning a bit of history while also getting an interesting and powerful story!
Read on my friends!
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