Mary Helen Specht
Migratory Animals
April 06, 2019 Comments.. 863
Migratory Animals Mary Helen Specht A powerful debut novel about a group of 30 somethings struggling for connection and belonging, Migratory Animals centers on a protagonist who finds herself torn between love and dutyWhen Flannery, a young scientist, is forced to return to Austin from five years of research in Nigeria, she becomes torn between her two homes Having left behind her loving fianc without knowA powerful debut novel about a group of 30 somethings struggling for connection and belonging, Migratory Animals centers on a protagonist who finds herself torn between love and dutyWhen Flannery, a young scientist, is forced to return to Austin from five years of research in Nigeria, she becomes torn between her two homes Having left behind her loving fianc without knowing when she can return, Flan learns that her sister, Molly, has begun to show signs of the crippling genetic disease that slowly killed their mother As their close knit circle of friends struggles with Molly s diagnosis, Flannery must grapple with what her future will hold an ambitious life of love and the pursuit of scientific discovery in West Africa, or the pull of a life surrounded by old friends, the comfort of an old flame, family obligations, and the home she s always known But she is not the only one wrestling with uncertainty Since their college days, each of her friends has faced unexpected challenges that make them reevaluate the lives they d always planned for themselves.A mesmerizing debut from an exciting young writer, Migratory Animals is a moving, thought provoking novel, told from shifting viewpoints, about the meaning of home and what we owe each other and ourselves.. Migratory Animals A powerful debut novel about a group of somethings struggling for connection and belonging Migratory Animals centers on a protagonist who finds herself torn between love and dutyWhen Flannery a y
  • Title: Migratory Animals
  • Author: Mary Helen Specht
  • ISBN: 9780062346032
  • Page: 410
  • Format: Paperback
  • Migratory Animals Mary Helen Specht

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      410 Mary Helen Specht
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      Posted by:Mary Helen Specht
      Published :2019-04-06T20:10:26+00:00

    1 Blog on “Migratory Animals

    1. Diane S ☔ says:

      I love the cover of this book and yes, the birds do mean something It is also the first book where I would personally like to meet all the main characters This group of friends, two are siblings, are now in their thirties and are at a crossroads in their professional lives and personal ones The book is narrated by a few different people, so we get different viewpoints I enjoyed this story, which deals with some important issues such as Huntington disease, depression, climate changes and childbir [...]

    2. Tamsen says:

      30 something hipsters dealing with life and you know what, it s haaaard Sidebar I m totally referencing a skit in an episode of Robot Chicken mocking the Hills, where everything is haaaaard The writing isn t terrible, although there are some weird italicized flashbacks that I don t really understand the point of, and the author feels the need to explain everything from birds to ice crystals to looms in detail that I m not sure is necessary The hipsters are hipsters, which isn t too annoying, I g [...]

    3. Sherry Anne says:

      I wanted so badly to fall in love with this book thematically and conceptually, it was both beautiful and thought provoking but no matter how much I tried I just couldn t get excited about it It started out well, as the protagonist Flannery leaves her partner and work in Nigeria to visit her family back in the States She discovers her sister is sick with the same illness their mother had, which leads to mixed feelings about going home and further drama with her old friendship group Flannery is a [...]

    4. Patty says:

      Migratory AnimalsByMary Helen SpechtWhat it s all aboutThe key character in this book seems to be Flannery but she has a circle of friends and a sisterMollywho are also integral to this book Flannery is a scientist who has spent the last five years in Nigeria She is engaged to a Nigerian Flannery s family carries the gene for Huntington s Disease Actually Flannery doesn t carry it but her mother died from it and her sister carries the gene and seems to be coming down with the disease Why I wante [...]

    5. Bonnie Brody says:

      Migratory Animals is a debut novel with both good and bad aspects It reminded me of The Big Chill revisited There are several books in this genre and I had to ask myself if there is a good reason to add one I don t think there is.The story begins as Flannery, a scientist, returns to Austin, Texas from Nigeria, ostensibly to seek money for her research project She has been in Nigeria for five years and is in love with a Nigerian named Kunle whom she met shortly after she arrived in Nigeria Once [...]

    6. Jessica says:

      Consider this a very strong three and a half stars The writing here is pretty solid The only reason I came down a star is that the story itself wasn t as consistently strong Flannery is a climate scientist who has lived in Nigeria for the past five years When her lab s grant runs out, she leaves her fiancee behind to return home to Texas The plan is that she will work on her research long enough to find new funding and then go back home to Africa Upon arriving in Texas, however, she realizes tha [...]

    7. Julia Tulloh Harper says:

      I had really high hopes for this one as I love Mary Helen Specht s non fiction writing, which I ve read in the Texas Observer, and her short fiction which has been published in a range of US journals While I liked some of this book I think it struggled with focus and in the end I couldn t finish it There were so many different characters that it was hard to absorb the story is not that long, so the narrative seemed a bit thinly spread over so many characters Enjoyed Molly and Flan s storylines t [...]

    8. Rhiannon Johnson says:

      This review originally appeared in this blog post ivoryowlreviews 2This book caught my attention last autumn and I was so excited to read it that I skipped over others in my TBR Totally not like me at all but I loved every page of this novel A female scientist returns to the States from Nigeria and faces the impending loss of her sister She believes herself to be one woman in Nigeria but quickly digresses to her previous self when returning to her family I related with this schism of others expe [...]

    9. Alison says:

      I won this through first reads on A beautifully written, descriptive and thought provoking novel This is the story about a group of friends, who had met in college and of a relationship between two sisters, Molly who finds out she has developed Huntington s disease, a genetic disease which had killed their mother and Flannery returning home from Africa, where she left a fianc_, so that she could do some research back home,with the thought of returning to her fianc_ once she raised some money The [...]

    10. Jaclyn Day says:

      In this book, a group of adults who became friends in grad school reunite when one of the members Flannery returns to Texas from Nigeria where she s been working in climate research for several years She leaves behind her fiance, Kunle, but promises to return to him soon Each chapter follows a different person, starting with Flannery There is Santiago, Flannery s former boyfriend, and Molly, Flannery s younger sister who is beginning to show signs of Huntington s disease which killed their mothe [...]

    11. Beth says:

      Everyone who saw me reading this book with the birds on the cover assumed I was reading about real animals I kept saying It is not about animals it is about people But at the time I could not figure out the meaning of the title Although the title was later explained, my interpretation grew to mean the way people migrate through their lives In this case, the characters with problems or flaws move towards better selves.This is not my kind of book but how impressed I was that the author knew or had [...]

    12. (a)lyss(a) says:

      I was impressed with a number of things about this book.It s very emotionally driven with a swath of interesting characters The change in narrator gives us a chance to see how each person ticks and what they re hiding as they interact with each other and gave the story a lot of depth Following the struggles of each character there are a lot of triumphs and tragedies that they face that blends into a well written story.

    13. C.C. Rising says:

      What would you do if your family member had a gut wrenching disease and needed your help, but was too proud to ask Would you pretend not to notice the telltale signs of the disease, distance yourself, or ask what you could do Those questions slap main character Flannery in the face and serve as the tapestry of Migratory Animals The novel is good because each of us will eventually have to answer those questions.For the most part, Flannery, a climate scientist in Nigeria, runs from her younger sis [...]

    14. Cyd says:

      I received this book through a First Reads giveaway.I was very much looking forward to it delighted to have won it and enjoyed it a great deal The novel is set in motion when Flannery, a white American woman who has been living and working in Nigeria for several years and is engaged to a Nigerian man, has to return to the US after the scientific project she s working on runs into funding issues Once back in Texas she reunites with family chiefly her younger sister who is starting to show signs o [...]

    15. DJ Sakata says:

      Favorite Quotes Kunle was untainted by the loss and heartbreak Flannery s family dragged behind it like a lizard s tail His father was a Mexican who didn t much like Mexicans, and it was only later than Santi became to wonder what that might do to a person s psyche Over time, Molly would discover there were all sorts of baggage and sharp edges to these people who eventually became her closest circle But in that moment, looking at them from the outside, all she could see were lives that existed i [...]

    16. Melissa says:

      This sounded like a character driven book and I was not disappointed This is an exploration of a group of friends and how you cannot run away from your past, you can only deal with it It s about life that will recycle old problems in new ways until you finally deal with what is in front of you It deals with death, suicide, hard decisions, love, laughter and friendship What I also loved about this novel is that the characters are a variety of those in the human race and not all are on the US cont [...]

    17. Dawne says:

      I am very excited about this book, which reminds me of Jhumpa Lahiri s work taut sentences, details grounded in place, and characters experiencing the pull of different cultures, families, and expectations What impressed me, too, was the seriousness of work for both the male and female characters, who deal with thwarted ambitions, disappointment, and ill conceived complexes Jonathan Yardley, Washing Post s critic, once complained that work played no role in the misfit characters created by Grace [...]

    18. Zhanna says:

      This book started out so promising The beginning is intriguing and the prose is so well written But then I was halfway in and I realized I still couldn t really differentiate between the four extremely similar male characters, and of the three female characters, two of them were pretty detestable The only redeemable character was Molly, a woman dying from Huntington s, and she was hardly in it at all Also, the group of friends are constantly remarking how wonderful it is to have each other, but [...]

    19. Lacy says:

      This sad, dark story took me a while to get through I had to put the book down and was not overly eager to pick it up again I think that speaks to the connection I felt with the characters I was rooting for them the whole time, but it just felt so desperate And real life like, I suppose I enjoy books with scientists and this fit that bill There was illness both mental and physical, which was probably the toughest aspect for me The language and character development was spot on I think I could re [...]

    20. Andrea MacPherson says:

      I loved this book I was really drawn to the characters, and their complex, overlapping struggles Multiple POVs are always a weakness for me, and they were especially successful in this narrative Specht has a light, lovely touch with language That s not to say that I didn t have some issues with the novel The ending s felt a bit rushed, a couple secondary characters were unnecessary, and there were areas where research was apparent, and slowed down the story But the positives absolutely outweigh [...]

    21. Viccy says:

      Without a doubt, this is one of the most beautifully written books I have ever read it is cinematic in scope e whole tree shook its head at her A flock of birds swept from the branches, crackling the leaves Flannery returns to Texas for her imperfect family, from Nigeria, and she has to confront their craziness In Nigeria, she is in love with Kunle and they have decided to get married, first in the States and then, again, in Nigeria This is a novel looking inward, slowly revealing the interior l [...]

    22. Patricia Geller says:

      I would of given this book a 4.5 It is not earth shakering but a totally satisfactory read about the lives of a group of college friends as they move through their lives, with a focus on one who lives in West Africa I was happy to pick up where I left off Great book for traveling with short chapters from different people s perspectives An easy read without being shallow.

    23. Catherine Shattuck says:

      Delicate prose and a story that made me set down the book so many times to try and capture the fleeting memories of my own college days This is one of those magical books that teaches you beautiful things you never knew about the shape of snowflakes and the journey of purple martins, about weaving color and cloth into story and the homeplace we all crave.

    24. Debbie says:

      I liked this book hit close to home, as the main character, Flannery had similar decisions to make with her life as I did If you like feeling alot of emotions, this is a book for you It has family dysfunction, friendships that are tested, some that are made anew, heartache, heartbreak, and a mind finding some long needed peace Mary Helen is a wonderful storyteller

    25. Glenda Bixler says:

      Review of this book will appear at Book Reader s Heaven tomorrow Thank you for visiting there

    26. Shawna Seed says:

      I reviewed Mary Helen Specht s impressive debut novel, Migratory Animals, for The Dallas Morning News You can find the full text of my review here bit 1IwQ21H

    27. Kirsten says:

      How do you rate a book that made literally no impact on you and had such small pockets of interest that you didn t even know if you d finish it at times, but wasn t boring enough to NOT finish just made you lazy instead Probably a 2 out of 5, right Whenever I see in a book description that a character is diagnosed with a horrible illness, I automatically assume it will be at least mildly interesting I mean, how can it not There s this morbid fascination piece that I just can t seem to shake, whi [...]

    28. Mary Ellen says:

      I enjoyed the story and the Austin focus, but had a hard time getting exited about finishing it The concept and the writing were both good Perhaps the story was just a little depressing for me.

    29. Bored to Death book club says:

      Migratory Animals is Specht s first novel and it s a big one She tackles difficult subjects like Huntington s disease and mental illness, but also emigrating, friends versus family and the disappointment of our current economy.During the book we follow two sisters and their group of friends Flannery feels like the center of the novel and conveniently she has lots in common with the author Flannery is a snow scientist who moved to Nigeria to participate in a study, but there she falls in love wit [...]

    30. Roger Brunyate says:

      Thirty SomethingsThe moral, I suppose, is to read the blurb carefully I bought it for the promise of its first sentence When Flannery, a young scientist, is forced to return to Austin after five years of research in Nigeria, she becomes torn between her two homes That, together with the title, made me imagine a novel of global scope, balancing two cultures, and tying them together with science something a little like William Boyd s Brazzaville Beach But no, this is essentially a parochial book, [...]

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