The Mercies Summary
Kiran Millwood Hargrave

Everything you need to understand or teach The Mercies by Kiran Millwood Hargrave.

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The Mercies Overview

The Mercies by Kiran Millwood Hargrave is a historical fiction novel taking place in the small island of Vardø, Norway, in the early 17th century and covering the real life events that took place there, including a major storm which killed most of the village's men and the subsequent witch trials. While the events are based in fact, the characters and much of the plot is fictional. The novel tells the story of two women: Maren, the local village woman caught between tradition and her own rebellious spirit, and Ursa, the wife of the commissioner sent to root out un-Christian influences in Vardø. As Maren and Ursa grow close to one another, suspicion and paranoia rages over the village, and Maren and Ursa must weather it together. The novel explores themes of religion, racism, gender, community, and nature.