Book Reviews, Bookworm Blogging

The Mercies [review]

The Mercies by Kiran Millwood Hargrave
Published by Little, Brown and Company on February 6, 2020
my rating: ★★.5
Goodreads avg:
4.06 (as of 2020-06-08)
Spoiler-free review

Goodreads IndieBound | Author Website


Though his touch is gentle it feels bruising even through clothes: she can’t suffer a man to touch her, however well meant.

I wonder if I would’ve gotten along better with this had I not consumed so much media about the Salem witch trials over the course of my life (fun fact: one of my ancestors was in the trials). While the setting is different, the story is largely similar to those out of Salem — but make it gay. The novel is based on true events, though. My issue is just that I didn’t feel Hargrave brought anything new to the table with it; it was easy for me to see what was coming and I dreaded picking the book up. While I love my fair share of sad stories, I feel like I always get something out of them and that just wasn’t the case here. If you haven’t been inundated with stories of witch trials, I think this would work better for you. For me, it just felt like another of the same.

content warnings: death of a loved one, sexual assault, miscarriage


My current 2020 Women’s Prize Squad Longlist rankings:

  1. The Body Lies
  2. Girl, Woman, Other
  3. My Dark Vanessa
  4. The Man Who Saw Everything
  5. My Name is Monster
  6. Ninth House
  7. Bunny
  8. The Mercies
  9. Frankissstein

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15 thoughts on “The Mercies [review]”

  1. Nice review! Sorry to see Salem knowledge made this one less exciting for you. I really liked that so much of the focus here was on relationships and the community, but I know there’s some of that in Salem stories as well, so perhaps a lack of prior readings helped me more than I realized. I hope you’ll have better luck with your next Women’s Prize Squad read! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. i felt the same way about this! i think this book was really readable for me in the moment, but proved v forgettable once i had finished it. i also really didnt like the ending; felt like it came outta nowhere 🤷‍♀️

    Liked by 1 person

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