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The Mercies Readalong - Day #1

! SPOILER ALERT ! The following post contains spoilers upto Chapter 6. So unless you’ve read the chapters, DON’T PROCEED ! SPOILER ALERT !

-S P O I L E R S-

OKAY CAN WE TALK ABOUT THE WRITING? It took me a while to get used to the somewhat complex English? I don't know how to explain it but yes it took me some time to get used to it but once I did, WOW.

The style of writing makes everything seem more atmospheric and foreboding and like OMG it's so good at making me nervous, worrying for the characters.

And yes, the characters. I don't feel as connected to Maren yet? but somehow I feel protective towards Diinna and honestly really felt for her? she must already be feeling like an outsider in the place and now has lost her husband, taking care of a newborn by herself while also caring for her aging mother-in-law.

Kirsten is badass. I love how she has brought the women together (well mostly) and taken charge. I love how she insisted on being the one to lower her husband into the grave and how she's taking the women into the sea for fishing.

In that first fishing scene, the freedom and the joy that comes along with it for the women is so palpable I felt it like a pang.

Toril is like on of those gossiping women looking down upon all those different and well, is it such a surprise i don't like her. Like if she were my next door neighbor, I'd be ignoring her on a daily basis and pretending she doesn't exist.

Although that was quite a lot of pages and quite a bit happened I feel I don't have as much to say and i'm honestly looking forward to meeting the other protagonist of the story.

Also the letters! They leave a bad taste in my mouth and I'm truly scared of what's to come.

-L E T    U S   D I S C U S S -

How are you liking the book so far? What do you think of the characters?

Uma @books.bags.burgers  is a crazy albeit nice book dragon who when not decoding the human existence in secret labs, spends the day bemoaning her lack of pastel books and trying to make sure her TBR doesn't kill her overnight.


  • Nairita Bala

    The opening of the book and the illustration itself made me think why even it is there ? Then as slowly I proceed into the book I feel the need of it or the idea of having it there. The Storm that distorts lives also brings together the lives. (Just my thoughts though)

    Talking about the writing style I have not read something like this book. The language is intricate and holds together not only the thoughts that were to be portrayed going inside the heads of the characters but glorifies the surroundings and atmosphere of the story. Make it more lively in most delicate manner.

    But I am getting into the skin of Maren yet. I am liking and loving Kristen. How bold, brave and independent a woman can be is shown beautifully. She is not only an independent woman but she empowers women and makes them feel strength in being independent. She doesn’t sympathises for the situation they are in.

    Diinna makes my heart sink. She is the most to suffer till now. Losing husband with his child still growing inside her and then taking care of the baby and mother in law, single-handed.

    Pastor Kurtson is character I still can’t really understand. He is in charge and then he doesn’t force orders on the women of the island. Is he planning something more grave?

    Off to next chapters .

  • Ishita Tank

    Boy oh boy do I already love this book. Any book about women being badasses, sign me the hell up. And this one even more so because it’s set in the land of my dreams, heart, and soul – Norway.

    The language did take some getting used to, it’s not something you can read with half a mind or skim, it takes presence and concentration and that just adds to the feel of the book.

    I’m just waiting to see more of these characters and seeing them develop and grow. Kirsten, Maren, and Diinna are women I’ve seen and known in my life and I can’t wait to read more.

    And gods, the “God-fearing” men haven’t even entered yet and I am illed with so much dread already. I knkw their likes and they’re the vilest of all creatures and I just hope the women of Vardo destroy them by the end.

    Someone in the comments mentioned this is very Winternight Trilogy like, and I felt the same, very similar characters and struggles, and I hope I’ll fall in love with this book as much as I did with The Winternight Trilogy.

  • Ishita Tank

    Boy oh boy am I already invested. Any books about women being badass, sign me right up. And this one has the added bonus of being set in the place of my heart and soul, Norway. * multiple heart eyes emojis*

    The writing did take some getting used to, it’s different and sometimes hard to figure out but it just adds to the feel of the book.

    I’m already in love with Kirsten, Maren, and Dinna, I hope we’ll see more of her, and really dislike Toril and her gang. But I kinda have a feeling by the end she’ll side with the women. Hopefully, I mean in a book about women solidarity this has to happen right.

    And yep, those letters fill me with so much dread, these god fearing men are the vilest of creatures and I am freakin’ terrified for every single woman in Vardo. I mean like the whole point is that the characters will stand up to them and will probably win and there’ll be a happy ending but things are gonna get so horrible before they get better.

    I just hope that those bastards suffer and die at the end of it. Already, I don’t even know what they’ll do, but gods I hope they suffer.

  • Rukaiya Murtaza


    The Mercies would be my first shot at reading a historical fiction genre and I am pleasantly surprised by the outcome. Firstly, I completely agree with the writing part. I had to repeat a line/ sentence and even a page, often, to understand the meaning behind it. At first, it was quite overwhelming but as soon as I got the knack of it, WOW! – Just as you exclaimed back there.

    I don’t have much to say except that I have an old hag living across me who’s just like Toril. Mean and snobbish. Point proven. And, the mother in law issue was quite a substance, without the men in picture, how hard it is for women to survive – that too on an island. Totally angsty.

    I adored Diina and Kirsten with a passion. I have no words to describe how much I root for them. As far as Maren is concerned, she seemed Bi to me – a queer romance, I hear. I noticed how she found romantic details about Diina – the constant itch to touch her, soothe her, etc. I am definitely looking forward to read more from here.

  • jyoti arora

    So this is my first readalong with booksnbeyond.. so far loving the book and I really like Kristens’ character as well. Excited to see where the story will lead.

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