Kiran Millwood Hargrave is a multi-faceted writer whose poetry and children’s literature have garnered praise and awards. The Mercies is her first novel for adults, a fresh historical tale that enamors from the first scene, a bewitching addition to Nordic folklore.
Twenty year old Maren is newly engaged and freshly optimistic about life. It is Christmastime in Finnmark, Norway, the year is 1617, and all is briefly well until a sudden, calamitous storm claims the lives of all the town’s men. As the women recover from the storm and adapt to their new circumstance, they overcome and unify in order to survive and thrive; their labors, lessons, trials and tribulations inspire and strengthen both individual self-identity and community progress. Yet, their new feminine-driven frontier is threatened by the arrival of the strong-minded investigator Absalom, and his new wife Ursa, neither of whom are prepared for life in this new vision of Finnmark.
The Mercies unearths buds of hope through the discovery of new ideas, successes, failures, friendships and romances; all set against a backdrop of preconception and rigid retention derived from pre-existing norms. A historical novel with contemporary zeitgeist, The Mercies is a compelling, transportive read.
Review by Joel
The Mercies is in stock at the bookstore, you can order it online or call us at (505) 988-4226.