The Last Migration Review: How do I find the words for this book?

August 12, 2021 by Bec | 5 stars, ARC Reviews, Books, Reviews

The Last Migration Review: How do I find the words for this book?The Last Migration by Charlotte McConaghy
Published by Penguin Random House Australia on August 4th, 2020
Source: Publisher
Genres: Adult, Literary Fiction
Amazon | Book Depository | Publisher | Angus & Robertson | Booktopia | Barnes & Noble
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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.

The Good Things

  • This review is hard to write because I don’t know if I can find the words to do this story justice. I finished it a week ago and am still in a book hangover from it.
  • This is an adult literary fiction novel by an Aussie author! Standalone. It’s so different to my usual reads.
  • It’s set in a world where climate change has driven almost all animals to extinction. A terrifying reality that isn’t out of the realm of possibility. But the world is merely the harsh backdrop for Franny’s character journey.
  • It’s filled with a range of fascinating, complex, and flawed characters.
  • It’s a book that you need to read, digest, and discuss with people. I would have loved to pick the themes apart in English class in high school. There is so much to unpack and explore.
  • The writing is beautiful and the story is masterfully woven.
  • Emotionally, it hit me harder than I expected. It made me cry and has left me speechless.


The Not-So-Good Things

  • Sometimes I got a bit bored reading the “present” timeline parts of the book. I was much more invested in the mystery of the past timelines. However, I don’t think that’s much of a negative because the story needed to be told with those scenes the way they were. The story would not have been anywhere near as impactful if it was structured any other way.


The Last Migration is a wonderful, complex novel that I don’t have the words to describe. Masterfully woven, it explores some challenging, profound themes and really makes you think and feel. It’s left me speechless.

Rating: 5 out of 5

TW: suicide, animal death, sexual assault.

Thank you to the publisher for providing an ARC for review. The Last Migration (the title is Migration in the US) is available now!

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Bec is an Aussie blogger and reader who loves all types of novels. Fantasy, sci fi, and historical are my usual go-to genres. If I’m not binge reading, I’m usually gaming, trying to take decent photos for bookstagram, or freaking out about silly things.

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