Migrations by Charlotte McConaghy [9/10]

From its opening pages, “Migrations” is a tour de force of lyrical, propulsive, emotionally rich writing. The story of Franny Stone, an amateur setting out from Greenland to track Arctic Terns on their impossibly long migrations to the Antarctic, is enriched by a dystopian setting of a soon-to-be world of species’ extinction and Franny’s dark back story. The scenes in the wild, be they on Greenland ice or on a fishing boat crewed by a spirited, motley crew, are extraordinarily vivid. Books of this ilk can quickly become mired in despondent themes and indulgent lyricism, but the author puts all her skills and messages in the employ of a steadily escalating plot. On the one hand, Migrations begs for a movie adaptation, on the other hand, it’s the inner life of Franny that gripped my heart as we approached the finale. Migrations must not be missed.

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