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The Mercies

Narrated by: Jessie Buckley
Length: 11 hrs and 5 mins
Categories: Fiction, Historical
5 out of 5 stars (9 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

On Christmas Eve, 1617, the sea around the remote Norwegian island of Vardø is thrown into a reckless storm. As Maren Magnusdatter watches, 40 fishermen, including her father and brother, are lost to the waves, the menfolk of Vardø 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 civilised world, Absalom Cornet knows what he needs to do to bring the women of Vardø to heel. With him travels his young wife, Ursa. In Vardø, 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 Vardø 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.

©2019 Kiran Millwood Hargrave (P)2019 Macmillan Digital Audio

What listeners say about The Mercies

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Haunting

This novel is evocative and will have you thinking about it long after you've finished. I can't get this book out of my head, and the narrator was perfect.

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  • Michelle
  • 04-04-2020

Transported back 400 years to Vardo

A slow and sensitive account of women and men of the past. How beliefs, so absurd, could bring about the senseless torture and death of innocence.

The narrator was wonderful and has a brilliant knack for accents. Wonderful performance.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Mair
  • 02-03-2020

Fabulous

The writing (and narration), transported me to another time and another country. I saw their lives, understood their motivations, lived inside their heads. The absolute cruelty and brutality of the men pitted against the women's realities. The collision of the women in their own doom. It is a superb piece of writing and narration and I couldn't stop listening. The narrator uses enough accent to bring the women's names and the places alive, the research is impeccable. I loved it.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Iona
  • 15-02-2020

Mesmerizing

The tale is beautifully told. The narrator masters the Norwegian prononciation of place names and characters which is crucial.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Mauve dreamer
  • 26-03-2020

Hauntingly beautiful story.

Fell in love with book. Wonderful read. Read it. very special book. nuances and nothing I didn't like. I will read it again. A real gem.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Donna-Sue Pittaway
  • 09-03-2020

Scandinavian magic

Started this book because it took my fancy off the back of Stacey Halls- The Familiars, it covers some similar themes, witch-hunts in the 1600’s and persecution of women trying to do their best in difficult circumstances. What drew me in was the idea of an entire Scandinavian island devoid of men due to a horrific storm, how the women coped in such a desperately sad situation in a hostile environment. It is only when the male characters start appearing do things start deteriorating and the small society starts collapsing inward with fingers being pointed. A wonderfully descriptive tale with a beautiful relationships between women made this an incredible listen. Jesse Buckley who narrates deserves a medal for her accents and atmospheric delivery, wonderful winter to spring read!

2 people found this helpful

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  • BexB
  • 01-03-2020

Wonderfully descriptive

I loved this book. The story is powerful and gripping and the narrator tells it brilliantly.
At first I found it hard to get my head around the pronunciation of the names and places but I soon had my ear in and the names were tripping through my head between the times I listened.

2 people found this helpful

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  • miss e m aguero
  • 03-05-2020

Kiran is a master story teller

From the first words it was gripping and vivid, the characters coming alive. Not characters in a novel, but real identifiable women, no matter that they lived 400 years ago. They were so real, i was worried about what was going to happen to Ursa when I wasn't listening - that is something that has never happened to me before! Beautifully read as well. This is one of those stories that will stay with me because I felt it so deeply and cared.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Hilara
  • 17-04-2020

enjoyed it

It was a great book. I would recommend it. Enjoyable and capturing read. Quite a slow recording though I listened at the increasing speed.

1 person found this helpful

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  • lovely catlover
  • 01-08-2020

Fantastic read and brilliant narrator in Jessie Buckley

I thoroughly enjoyed this book from start to finish. It’s brutal in parts but thoroughly readable. I was so impressed by Jessie Buckley and the way she managed so skillfully to transport you to early 17C Finnmark - a captivating narration.....wonderful!

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  • 匿名
  • 12-07-2020

Excellent

Beautiful written story about an interesting yet tragic topic. The narration is excellent. The characters are well brought to life and reflective of the struggles of women even today.