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Review: The Last Migration by Charlotte McConaghy

The Last Migration by Charlotte McConaghy

For readers of Station Eleven and Everything I Never Told You, a debut novel set on the brink of catastrophe, as a young woman chases the world’s last birds – and her own final chance for redemption.

‘An extraordinary novel… as beautiful and as wrenching as anything I’ve ever read.’ Emily St John Mandel. ‘This novel is enchanting, but not in some safe, fairytale sense. Charlotte McConaghy has harnessed the rough magic that sears our souls. I recommend The Last Migration with my whole heart.’ Geraldine Brooks

For readers of Station Eleven and Everything I Never Told You, a debut novel set on the brink of catastrophe, as a young woman chases the world’s last birds – and her own final chance for redemption.A dark past. An impossible journey. The will to survive.

How far you would you go for love? Franny Stone is determined to go to the end of the earth, following the last of the Arctic terns on what may be their final migration to Antarctica.

As animal populations plummet and commercial fishing faces prohibition, Franny talks her way onto one of the few remaining boats heading south. But as she and the eccentric crew travel further from shore and safety, the dark secrets of Franny’s life begin to unspool. A daughter’s yearning search for her mother. An impulsive, passionate marriage. A shocking crime. Haunted by love and violence, Franny must confront what she is really running towards – and from.

The Last Migration is a wild, gripping and deeply moving novel from a brilliant young writer. From the west coast of Ireland to Australia and remote Greenland, through crashing Atlantic swells to the bottom of the world, this is an ode to the wild places and creatures now threatened, and an epic story of the possibility of hope against all odds.

Published 4 August 2020 |  Publisher: Penguin Random House Australia  |  RRP: AUD$32.99

Buy it at: Dymocks |  Booktopia |  A&R  |  Abbey’s  | QBD

My Blurb (5 / 5 stars)

Franny Stone is desperate. Desperate to follow the Artic terns on what could be their last migration. She has a mission to fulfil for her beloved husband and she’ll not fail. The world is falling apart, many creatures have been deemed extinct, if not close to, and fisheries are close to being outlawed. She found a boat that will take her to where she needs to go but along the way, she’s also found life…

Mam used to tell me to look for the clues.
‘The clues to what?’ I asked the first time.
‘To life. They’re hidden everywhere.’

This setting is certainly not of today’s world although it feels that it certainly couldn’t be far off with the way we’ve used the earth so harshly. Even as the book is slotted into ‘science fiction’ or ‘dystopia’, please do not let this stop you because most of the time, it really doesn’t feel like a science fiction novel to me. I actually have to keep reminding myself that it’s not exactly ‘today’ as I read it.

The Last Migration is an achingly beautiful love story; that special love between 2 people, bonds of friendships, and an overwhelming pull of the sea, the birds, all nature. The beautiful prose completely pulled me in and I’ve spent today drowning in this tale only to resurface wanting to get back in. A hopeless yet hopefully determined purposeful ending from which we can all take a page from.

Thanks to Penguin Random House Australia for copy of book in exchange of honest review

About the author

Charlotte McConaghy has been writing from a young age. She has both a Graduate Degree in Screenwriting and a Masters Degree in Screen Arts, and has worked in script development for film and television for several years. She has written a number of speculative fiction books but The Last Migration is her first literary novel. She lives in Sydney.

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