What readers think of Migrations, plus links to write your own review.

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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 51 reader reviews for Migrations
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Linda V. (Independence, KY)

Migration of feelings
This book was a delicious "trail" of imagery, feelings, times and locations. It was like unwrapping a present. At first, I was a bit confused with the different time frames, but then it was like an unfolding rather than a jumping. An exploration of a character but of what life holds and brings us and how we evolve to encompass the sadness as well as the joy.
On a personal note, I began reading this book shortly after the death of my daughter. The main character had lost a child and her journey through each experience and relationship resonated with me. The end did much towards my approaching healing as opposed to bitterness.
Deborah W. (Boynton Beach, FL)

"Birds Gotta Fly:" "Migrations" is a tale for our times
Reading "Migrations" was a cold shock to my system, like the icy ocean waters the protagonist, Franny, often dived into. The author describes a future we do not want. But her bleak vision is only one element of this engrossing story. The novel is also a warm combination of a love story, a perilous journey, a dark back-story that is only gradually revealed, echoes of classics ("Moby Dick" and Jules Verne and Hans Christian Andersen immediately come to mind, along with tales of orphans), and mesmerizing nature writing about places and the ocean and of course, birds. Just as "Flight Behavior" changes the way its readers look at and think about butterflies, and "The Overstory" does that for trees, so "Migrations" does that for birds. I read this while "sheltering-in-place" during the corona virus outbreak. It's too late to stop the global spread of the virus; but hopefully it's not too late to have a brighter future for our planet than the one "Migrations" paints. I have lots of time now, so I'll be thinking about what I can do about global warming; and I'll be thinking about Franny — what she was passionate about, where she ended up, and how her tale can empower us. Book groups will find much to discuss here.
Susan S. (Springdale, AR)

"The world was a different place, once." The world that Franny lives in is one I hope we never realize. Her single minded determination to follow the terns across the globe is nothing short of incredible. So many stories are told - lives changed, loves lost. Faded memories are restored as Franny pursues her precious birds. We learn of her past and how it shaped what she has become. I found her totally likeable, warts and all.
Carole R. (Burlington, WI)

From Chaos ...
Migrations is one of those novels that are as chaotic to read as the story the author is giving us. As readers we have a choice, embrace the chaos, forgive the cliffs or choose to step back and close the cover. Charlotte McConaghy (could be first book I chose to read because of name) has written a book that feels like it was wrenched out of her soul. I would really like to know more about her. I suspect in coming months that will happen.
This is a book of what ifs. Clues are parsed out stingily and with little fanfare. I'm sure I missed many in my race to the end of this story. Although placed in the future, this book feels like it could be now. More than an interpersonal relationship book it is also an environmental story that warns us to take heed of our climate policies and protections.
I will carry this book with me a long time. I will reread it more slowly and deliberately. I will give it to you with my highest recommendation. Step into the chaos....
Gina T. (Natick, MA)

Powerful and poetic
Wow! Migrations took me by surprise.
I would describe it as a work of art. Such beautiful prose, powerful and unusual plot, gripping characters.. the setting reminded me of Matterhorn, in that I can feel the cold, the turbulence of the seas etc . Not many novelists are capable of that feat.
I found myself rereading paragraphs, reflecting on the universal themes of grief, hope, frustration, spirit and determination.
I truly could not put this novel down and will recommend it to all my friends.
Why we read...
Power Reviewer
Dorothy M. (Maynard, MA)

Beautifully written books about a dark subject
Australian author Charlotte McConagny's first novel published in the US, Migrations, is set in the (probably nearer than we hope) future when human actions and climate change have decimated animal, bird and fish populations to near or complete extinction. Her main character - Franny Stone - is a seriously damaged woman who has spent her life wandering, unable to deal with enclosure in places or relationships. The story begins when Franny is in Greenland, having successfully banded three Arctic terns, members of what appears to be the last flock on earth. She is convinced that if she can follow their migration - the longest one in nature from the Arctic to Antarctica - she can save the species. But there is much more going on and McConagny cleverly parses out Franny's background story, making the book a page turning thriller. Beautifully written with incredible descriptions of the journey across some of the most dangerous portions of the Atlantic ocean, this is a highly recommended book.
Power Reviewer
Donna W. (Wauwatosa, WI)

This was a very powerful story! The book was written in such a beautiful way that it touched my heart, and I was really sorry to see it end. There is a bit of a mystery about the lead character's background and this adds to the strength of book.

I was profoundly touched by this book: The author did an excellent job writing such a moving story. I highly recommend this book.
Betty B. (Irving, TX)

Such An Amazing Book
Once I began reading Migrations I found it very difficult to put down, and the day after I started it I finished it. The writing is so beautiful, poetic and melancholic. In this desolated world of Migrations, there is still love...love of birds, adventure, and those special people in our lives. I will definitely share Migrations with my Book Club and other special friends. And I imagine in years to come I will remember Migrations as one of my most favorite books. I wish I could have rated it higher.

Beyond the Book:
  The Arctic Tern

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