Review: Migrations


By Charlotte McConaghy
Flatiron Books, 9781250204035, July 2021, 288pp.

The Short of It:

A thoughtful look at the impact of climate change.

The Rest of It:

This is my first review of the year, but it’s not the first book I picked up. This review just seemed easier to write at the moment so here goes.

This was an interesting story and a good one for my book club to discuss. Franny Stone is convinced that the Arctic terns will be migrating one last time. That the birds will be extinct as their food source has been somewhat depleted by fishing and global warming. The interesting thing about Franny is that she is not a scientist. She is married to a professor who studies such things and has become consumed with their survival.

Franny is a broken woman and through the back and forth timeline, it’s clear that Franny is running from something just as much as she is running towards something. There’s a little bit of a dark past trying to catch up to her, and yet she is quite likable and perhaps, the demons she faces is what makes her relatable. Franny finds herself a place on a fishing excursion, convincing the crew and captain that she can help them find the fish based on where the terns have headed.

This crew, although doubtful that Franny can lead them to the fish, gives her a chance to prove herself. Perhaps sensing the desperation in her plea. While traveling, Franny’s husband is back home. Not an unusual occurrence because although Franny has no problem loving or caring for people, she does have a problem with staying where she is.

This was a good story. A little sad when everything is revealed but also quite beautifully told. Powerful. It’s about love and loss and trying to find the people you are meant to have. And it did make me think a lot about how climate change impacts how we eat, live and make our decisions.

Have you read it? I recommend it.

Source: Borrowed
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.

9 thoughts on “Review: Migrations”

  1. I’m glad you enjoyed this and wondering what your group will think. I liked the writing and the dark feel when I read it last year and it made me think…bonus

    I’m trying to be more selective this year and plan to pick books that fit my current craving. I just finished, The Maid, Nita Prose – no review yet a fun quirky mystery.

  2. I am so in the minority on this one!
    I couldn’t stand the main character. Jumping in frozen water all the time and the inability to committ type .
    The author’s new book sounds sooo good but I’m afraid to try it 😔

    1. I was frustrated by Franny. I think I was the only one feeling that way when my club discussed it. I caught myself a few times thinking “get your $hit together”. But at the end when all of revealed I felt empathy for her.

  3. I read this one with (on audio) my book group, too. I thought it was good, but I didn’t love it. I wrote this on my blog: I enjoyed the book once I settled into the alternating time periods, but I didn’t love it as many of my friends did. None of the characters were especially likeable, but the premise of the tale was intriguing and I was eager to find out more about Franny. The timeline shifts were abrupt and I grew weary of the teasing out of details pertaining to Franny’s [past – spoiler removed], but I kept reading, determined to find the beauty in the narrative. The big reveal at the end (which I guessed early on) wasn’t at all surprising, but it didn’t spoil the story to know it in advance.

  4. I remember enjoying this book. I didn’t mind the back and forth storylines. It was different, I learned about nature and it is pertinent to today and climate change.

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