Life is hard for the women of Vardo, harder still after a freak storm drowns the men of the village. The women find new ways to survive, but the arrival of a witch hunting commissioner and his young wife, threaten everything that island life has been. Like the landscape, emotions and relationships are raw and wild and I was captured by the tension and threat of this story. This is a harsh and emotionally stirring read inspired by true events.
At last, the commissioner straightens his neck, stands. The kirke is so quiet she hears the movement of cloth against cloth, the swallow of his throat before he turns to them to speak. His feet plant in a wide stance, hands clasped behind his back, and she wonders if he was a sailor or a soldier. Again Maren feels that strange pull of energy from him she had felt in the harbour, something coiled and magnetic, almost dangerous in the size and heft of him.