Charlotte McConaghy
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About This Book

Franny Stone cannot be contained. In a bleak near-future, she is a wanderer and a sleepwalker, a swimmer and a bird lover. Born in Australia, raised in Ireland by her mother while knowing nothing of her father, she ends up back in Australia with her paternal grandmother. Returning as an adult to Ireland, she works as a cleaner at a university, where Niall Lynch, a famous professor of ornithology, willingly succumbs to her dangerous bewitchment. Their shared ardor for the wild turns tragic as the sixth extinction accelerates. McConaghy’s transfixing, gorgeously precise novel is propelled by Franny’s desperate effort to follow what may be the last flock of Arctic terns on their perilous migration from Greenland, where she finesses her way onto a fishing boat, to Antarctica. Alternating chapters dart back to gather the scattered puzzle pieces of her traumatic past. The scenes on board the Saghani, with its intriguing outcast crew, are psychologically intense and physically harrowing. McConaghy’s evocation of a world bereft of wildlife is piercing; Franny’s otherworldliness is captivating, and her extreme misadventures and anguished secrets are gripping. Some may find this darkly enrapturing work of ecofiction too heavily plotted, but all the violence, shock, and loss Franny navigates do aptly, and unnervingly, foreshadow a possible environmental apocalypse.

From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.