Forgot Your Username and Password? Click here.

Book Club

The Last Migration 

The Last Migration

Book Club Pick: The Last Migration



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.


In this month’s gr Book Club, you had the chance to ask CHARLOTTE MCCONAGHY about her fascinating new book The Last Migration. Here’s what she said! Check out next month’s Book Club pick online and find out how you can get involved (and even win a prize!). 


The Last Migration is your first literary fiction novel. What inspired the change after your ‘Chronicles of Kaya’ series? 

The transition into literary fiction was one that felt natural to me, though not at all unchallenging. The Last Migration was a story that was very deeply embedded in me; it came from an instinctive, passionate place, and turned out to be the hardest thing I’d ever written. I think that challenge is incredibly important, though, because it hopefully means you’re doing something worthwhile. 

The book follows Franny Stone as she tracks the last migration of the Arctic terns – what inspired this setting?

I have always loved birds and when I learned about the Arctic terns and their extraordinarily long journey I was blown away. They fly from the Arctic to the Antarctic and back again in a year, and over the course of their lifetimes this means they will fly the equivalent distance the moon and back three times. This became a metaphor for the novel, for the courage it will take for humans in facing the loss of our wild animals, and the courage of Franny in taking on such an impossible journey. 

Tell us about Franny – how did you develop the personal (and literal) journey she goes on in the novel?

Her journey is one of both personal redemption and a quest to witness and help the last flock of Arctic terns, in turn helping in the fight against animal extinction. It’s a journey that begins from a place of hopelessness and self-punishment, but throughout the story, because of the connections she builds and the experiences she has, she is able to reclaim her hope, not only for the natural world but for herself, too. She is able to see the beauty that still remains in the world, and she’s inspired by it, which is what I hope readers will take from the book. 

You’ve also written extensively as a screenwriter – do you think The Last Migration would work as a film? How would you tweak it? 

Funnily enough, I’m actually in talks to sell the film rights now, so it may just become a film one day after all! I think it would work wonderfully because it’s already such a visual story, with amazing scenery, and there’s a physical journey which lend themselves to the screen. The challenge with adapting novels is always in how you dramatise the internal journey of the protagonists. How do you tell an audience what they’re thinking and feeling – without having them blurt it out in clumsy dialogue? Franny’s rich internal world would need to be brought to life somehow, and that might be visually or it might be in her actions or her interactions with other characters. 

The Last Migration by Charlotte McConaghy is published by Hamish Hamilton.

 Check out next month’s Book Club pick!

The Lying Life of Adults


Items 71 to 80 of 114 total

per page

Set Descending Direction
  1. Grit

    "Why do naturally talented people frequently fail to reach their potential while other far less gifted individuals go on to achieve amazing things? The secret to outstanding achievement is not talent, but a passionate persistence. In other words, grit... More about this book
  2. Claiming Noah

    A taut, emotional thriller about biology, ownership and love.

    Catriona and James are desperate for children, and embark on an IVF program. After a gruelling round of treatments, Catriona finally falls pregnant, and they donate their remaini... More about this book
  3. Black Sheep

    From the man who won the Wellcome Trust Science Writing Prize 2014 and married a human statue comes a book of weird and wonderful psychological science from the far-flung corners of human experience. Richard Stephens became the focus of international... More about this book
  4. How Proust Can Change Your Life

    What a marvellous book this is ... de Botton dissects what (Proust) had to say about friendship, reading, looking carefully, paying attention taking your time, being alive and adds his own delicious commentary.

    The result is an intoxicati... More about this book
  5. Hello from the Gillespies

    For more than thirty years, Angela Gillespie has sent friends and family around the world an end-of-year letter titled 'Hello from the Gillespies'. It's always been cheery and full of good news. This year, Angela surprises herself - she tells the trut... More about this book
  6. A God in Ruins


    A God in Ruins relates the life of Teddy Todd - would-be poet, heroic World War II bomber pilot, husband, father, and grandfather - as he navigates the perils and progress of the 20th ce... More about this book
  7. Standing Strong

    The sequel to the much-loved Wattle Creek.

    Former city girl Jacqueline Havelock, Wattle Creek's newly arrived psychologist, has settled in to country life and is slowly coming to terms with the town's quirky ways. Farmer Damien McAllister's pl... More about this book
  8. Childhood Disrupted

    A groundbreaking book showing the link between Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and adult illnesses such as heart disease, autoimmune disease, and cancer-Childhood Disrupted also explains how to cope with these emotional traumas and even he... More about this book
  9. You Can Heal Your Life

    New York Times Bestseller! As featured on "Oprah" and "Donahue!" Over 30 Million copies sold worldwide! Louise L. Hay, bestselling author, is an internationally known leader in the self-help field. Her key message is: "If we are willing to do t... More about this book
  10. Gut

    The key to living a happier, healthier life is inside us.

    Our gut is almost as important to us as our brain or our heart, yet we know very little about how it works. In Gut, Giulia Enders shows that rather than the utilitarian and -- let's ... More about this book

Items 71 to 80 of 114 total

per page

Set Descending Direction