Author(s): 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.
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.
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"Charlotte McConaghy’s forthcoming novel is set in a near-future where mass extinction events have become horrifyingly common thanks to climate change and humanity’s inaction. The Last Migration is an excoriating, galvanising and deeply affecting read which has left me aching.
The story begins with our narrator Franny Stone trying to talk her way onto one of the last remaining commercial fishing boats. Franny is determined to follow the Arctic tern all the way to Antarctica in what could very well be their final (and fatal) migration attempt, and this is the only way she can do it. She falls in with the rag-tag crew of The Saghani, who help her as best they can for their own varied reasons even though they can’t parse hers.
Franny’s motivations and her past are gradually teased out through vivid, transportive flashbacks and occasional slips of information which arrive like a sharp slap to the face. The Last Migration is a concise epic; in less than 300 pages we forge through the sea and cross the globe, chasing the trail of the longest animal migration and riding the turbulent waves of wild-hearted Franny’s life.
I started reading The Last Migration on the train to work one day and became so absorbed I almost missed my stop. I stayed up too late reading because I didn’t want to put it down. I cried on another train to work when I finished it. This is a beauty not to be missed when it’s released in August."
— Reviewed by our bookseller Kate