Thursday, 28 February 2019

The Migration

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book free of charge for review purposes only. Receipt of a book does not guarantee a review or endorsement. My reviews are my honest opinion and are not biased for the purpose of personal gain.

Sophie's little sister Kira was one of the first to become ill. A simple case of the chicken pox, then complications, leaving her with what was to become known as Juvenile Idiopathic Immunodeficiency Syndrome. The family travels to Oxford in the hope the research being done there can help Kira's new condition.

There's a point where protection just becomes another kind of imprisonment.

The Migration ticked all my boxes, I love stories about climate and diseases, plus it was beautifully written with a very human story at the heart.
Helen Marshall specialises in the study of the Black Death, and that does feel like the basis for this story. The period of the plague coincided with extreme weather, some think that the storms pushed the black rats north into Britain. In her novel, she explores the connection between climate change and disease, and ponders if our very DNA will adapt to survive these threats.

This is how nature works. Progression, change, destruction or self-preservation. One thing changes and another responds, again and again and again.

It also explores the generational divide to a lesser extent. It's only children getting ill, and in one scene and adult confronts Sophie, telling her she is to blame. Just as many people like to blame younger generations for matters out of their control.

I wonder if reading Origins earlier in the year put me in the right frame of mind for this. Life has always found a way to survive through apocalypse, species adapt, evolve, become something new. Even if the ages of humans is coming to an end, the Earth will cleanse itself and start again.

You told me not to trust despair and I don't. But the flip side of immersing yourself in history is false nostalgia, thinking things were better before when they weren't. The planet was in a tailspin before my diagnosis. There isn't safety in the way things were.

A lot of these types of books can leave you with a feeling of despair but The Migration served up a portion of hope. I loved this book so much, and I have highlighted a huge amount of quotes. I highly recommend you read this if like cli-fi or thoughtful stories.

The Migration is published by Titan Books and will be available in paperback and ebook editions from 5th March 2018. Thanks go to the publisher for providing a copy for review.

POPSUGAR Reading Challenges: 41. A "cli-fi" (climate fiction) book

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