Reminiscent of adventurous Arctic stories like Maria Semple’s Where’d You Go, Bernadette and Peter Geye’s Northernmost, Migrations portrays a woman whose tragic existence yields profound wisdom.
Abandoned by means of her mother as a child, Franny struggles with a experience of domestic but easily identifies with the sea and with birds. She is constantly looking for her lost mother, and along the way, she meets a professor-activist combating mass extinction from his coaching put up in Galway, Ireland. They marry, however Franny maintains to roam, haunted via her past. Following a stint in prison, she travels to Greenland without her husband. There, she convinces the captain of a fishing ship to take her aboard, as the Arctic terns she tracks on their remaining migration can lead the crew to what is probably the closing faculties of fish. Together, this group creates an unlikely family of restless souls.
Details of Franny’s tale emerge in unpredictable blips, like the tiny flashing lighting of the bird-tracking gadgets that Franny and the crew watch on her laptop. Toggling to and fro in time and from place to region, the plot floats through gut-wrenching vignettes of Franny’s escapades, strung together like clues on a lifestyles-or-death scavenger hunt. Her lifestyles is a chain of calamities, a number of which she causes. It’s unclear whether or not she’s migrating from or to something.
Whether she’s in Australia, Trondheim, Greenland, Galway, Scotland, Yellowstone or Antarctica, Franny’s unsettled heart units the scene. She’s endeared to the fishing group, however they may be additionally the enemy; she is a vegetarian, a lover and protector of untamed animals, among whose numbers she counts herself as each predator and prey. The narrative, set in an unspecified destiny time, is living on the suspenseful, razor-skinny edge among her extremes.
Although Franny might not recognise where home is, she is home to conflicting truths. Prepare to mourn a bleak photograph of the future and to embody an eternal wish in Franny’s heroic example.
ALSO IN BOOKPAGE: Charlotte McConaghy on finding hope amid humanity’s destructive impact on the earth.