“The only true threat to birds that has ever existed is us.”

JMRL’s Books on Tap met virtually on January 6th to discuss Migrations by Charlotte McConaghy. Published in 2020, Migrations is the author’s first book of literary fiction, set in a near future where the impact of climate change has drastically reduced the global wildlife population. Part nautical adventure, part mystery, the reader is led to piece together the background of protagonist Franny Stone, who is determined to follow the migration of the last Arctic seabirds called terns.

Our readers seemed to really love this book, or not care for it at all. Several readers admitted to being moved to tears by the story, finding it compelling and intense. Most found the characters/crew on the Saghani fishing boat to be believable. More questions and conversations revolved around the human, personal decision characters make: how much do we expect others to risk for our own pursuits? When is courage healthy, and when is it a symptom and an exposition of deeper problems? Migrations also includes parent-child relationships as well as romantic relationships. 

In the end, we learn there was another motivation behind Franny’s journey to the terns and most of our group found the ending hopeful.

The author’s next book, Once There Were Wolves, published summer 2021, takes place in the Scottish highlands and continues the theme of man’s impact on the environment and wildlife. 

Other books mentioned:

Moby Dick

In the Kingdom of Ice

The Perfect Storm

Lab Girl

Hidden Figures


Books on Tap will meet on Thursday, February 3rd  at 7 pm, to discuss Beloved by Toni Morrison. Email Krista at kfarrell@jmrl.org for more information.

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