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A Novel

by Charlotte McConaghy

Migrations by Charlotte McConaghy X
Migrations by Charlotte McConaghy
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Aug 2020, 272 pages
    Jul 2021, 288 pages


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There are currently 52 reader reviews for Migrations
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Patricia L. (Seward, AK)

Uncomfortable yet satisfying...
Early on in Migrations, Franny, trying to find a commercial fishing boat captain thinks: "The thought of being aboard one of these merciless vessels with people who lay waste to the ocean makes my skin crawl…." As the member of a family who has fished commercially for the last 35 years reading this line made me pause for a moment. Luckily, I didn't stop.
Franny, it turns out, is a very complicated person engaged in an equally complicated mission that requires the complete buy-in of the captain and crew of "one of these merciless vessels." The story migrates through Franny's past and into her present, revealing vague details of abandonment at a young age, incarceration for murder and a romance that appears simultaneously supportive and destructive for both she and her husband Niall. All of this is wrapped around the imminent collapse of the natural world as we know it. McConaghy's characters are memorable even if their actions, at times improbable.
Migrations challenges common generalizations such as "people who lay waste to the ocean" while presenting a possible future scenario that we all should be concerned with and working to prevent now. Migrations is a very satisfying read.
Rosemary C. (Golden, CO)

Gorgeous prose, deeply moving story
I very much enjoyed this book, though at times the subject matters and the depth of feeling the words evoked in me were painful. I'm very worried about the effects of climate change, so the story was particularly compelling. The portrayal of repeated trauma in Franny's life and how she dealt with her suffering were well done. I think this could be a good book club selection, evoking lots of discussion.
Susan S. (Salida, CO)

Poignantly honest and riveting account
"Thousands of species are dying right now, and being ignored." And Franny is either going to bear witness to the dying or do something about it. In the vaguely distant future, following the modern trend, we are headed to the extinction of many animals and maybe the last of the Arctic tern. She cheats and lies her way onto a fishing vessel to follow their final migration from Greenland to Antartica. Do you think you could do anything about the extinction trend? Would you risk life and limb to make a difference? Could you convince others to come along for the journey? I loved being admitted to the select society that share Franny's secrets and motivation. Plenty of questions and meat for book clubs and introspection. What would you/could you do to save the animals of the world?
Wendy R. (Pinehurst, NC)

Made my Heart Sing
"Migrations" a beautifully written book about the contrast of an impossible journey and a fragile heart. I did not want to put this book down. The story starts with the true love of animals, the length a person will go for that love and ends with Franny finding and understanding her heart and herself. You will never forget the journey of the Arctic Terns, nor the insight into Franny, what drives her and the characters she meets along the way. There is hope, loss and surprise in this wonderful story. A very joyous and insightful book, one to be remembered and recommended for a long time.
Power Reviewer
Beverly D. (Palm Harbor, FL)

A Stunner!
Beautifully written, Migrations is a novel we need to read NOW. Our vulnerable planet, in the not too distant future, is losing species and a desperately broken woman is trying to help stem the tide. This is an adventure story, a love story and an examination of what means HOME and how and where we can find it. Relationships, with both nature and people are in the forefront of this story. The author keeps the parallel stories well defined and flowing so well that one never loses interest. I would highly recommend this book as a book club title....lots of important and timely topics for discussion.
Catheryne Z. (Plano, TX)

Last Migration of the Arctic Terns
I really enjoyed this book. The book is well written and has a great flow. It has a melancholy, mildly science fiction theme. Franny Stone is an interesting character with a wandering spirit and a hard life. She is in remote Greenland tracking the last Arctic terns and following them on their last migration. She finds a fishing ship, the Saghari , to take her on her journey. The book slowly unravels her dark difficult past as she's on her quest. She gets to know the crew members and their own issues. I like a book that has you trying to figure out a person's past and motivations. I would definitely recommend this book.
Gail B. (Albuquerque, NM)

On a mission to track the migration of Arctic terns from the Far North Atlantic to West Antarctica, Franny Stone, wanderer, joins the crew of Saghani, the last vessel certified to fish for wild Atlantic herring. Part Franny's search for family, part love story, part a mission to save wild birds, MIGRATIONS is successful in all. It tracks Franny's life as well as the flight of birds she has loved since childhood. Often beautifully poetic, unusual, intriguing, MIGRATIONS grows to a "can't put down" finale.
Marcia S. (Ackley, IA)

Finding that which is lost
Imagine a world without wildlife. That is the backdrop for this unsettling story about Franny— searching to fill the holes in her life. How can she heal the feelings of loss, abandonment, and wanderlust that control her? She thought she'd found the answer with her husband, Niall. In homage to Niall, she undertakes a sojourn to trace the migration of the Arctic Tern, rumored to be the last of their kind. On the journey, Franny is forced to deal with her demons. The supporting cast of characters add flavor and depth to the story. The ending was unexpected and well worth the read. This well-written book also reinforces the timely ideal of protecting our habitat and wildlife. I recommend it.

Beyond the Book:
  The Arctic Tern

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