Thank you so much to my friends at Flatiron Books for sending me a gorgeous final copy of Migrations by Australian author Charlotte McConaghy! This novel is her American debut.
Migrations is set in the near future, at a time when animals are going extinct at an alarming rate. Franny Lynch is a bird researcher who wants to track the migration of a small, final group of Arctic terns from Greenland to Antarctica. She has no funding, so she convinces a small fishing vessel, captained by Ennis & crewed by a fun cast of characters, to allow her aboard. She knows that she can track the birds — which will lead them to big catches of fish. Because of the rapid decline of the environment, this is one of the last fishing crews she can find.
The novel is told in small vignettes moving back and forth in time. We learn more and more about Franny and her past. She holds so many secrets about why she’s really tracking the birds, about her past, and what her true intentions are on this excursion. It is done in a beautiful, haunting way, and left me breathless at the end of each chapter.
Despite this being a novel set in the future, it felt hyper realistic. I felt the environmental pain on every page, and how it affected the world of the novel. I loved every character I met and I loved seeing life aboard this fishing boat. The travels of this crew were interesting, and the crests and waves of action were paced perfectly. This novel was blurbed by one of my favorite authors, Emily St. John Mandel, and this was reminiscent of her writing style. It’s a haunting, deep novel, and I highly recommend picking it up when it is published on August 4.