Late Migrations: A Natural History of Love and Loss

Late Migrations: A Natural History of Love and Loss Review

An Indie Next Selection for July 2019
An Indies Introduce Selection for Summer/Fall 2019

From New York Times opinion writer Margaret Renkl comes an unusual, captivating portrait of a family--and of the cycles of joy and grief that inscribe human lives within the natural world.

Growing up in Alabama, Renkl was a devoted reader, an explorer of riverbeds and red-dirt roads, and a fiercely loved daughter. Here, in brief essays, she traces a tender and honest portrait of her complicated parents--her exuberant, creative mother; her steady, supportive father--and of the bittersweet moments that accompany a child's transition to caregiver.

And here, braided into the overall narrative, Renkl offers observations on the world surrounding her suburban Nashville home. Ringing with rapture and heartache, these essays convey the dignity of bluebirds and rat snakes, monarch butterflies and native bees. As these two threads haunt and harmonize with each other, Renkl suggests that there is astonishment to be found in common things: in what seems ordinary, in what we all share. For in both worlds--the natural one and our own--"the shadow side of love is always loss, and grief is only love's own twin."

Gorgeously illustrated by the author's brother, Billy Renkl, Late Migrations is an assured and memorable debut.

Title:Late Migrations: A Natural History of Love and Loss

    Late Migrations: A Natural History of Love and Loss Reviews

  • Diane Barnes

    I enjoyed this book of very short essays. Easy to read in short snatches of time, the author touches on grief, parental love (from both sides), nature, and beauty. Her prose is beautiful as well. I re...

  • Adam

    I read the entirety of this book with a lump in my throat that would neither subside or crawl out my mouth into the cry I wanted it to be. What a fantastic book....

  • Elizabeth

    my heart is a puddle after reading this beautiful book of personal memories & the natural world. i am reading it right on the heels of Ada Limon's self-aware poetry. what a summer! recommended. ...

  • Paul Ataua

    Beautiful! 112 short and beautifully written ‘essays’ about nature, family, and life that are just captivating. I read it in one workday, forgoing my morning swim, blowing off my lunch, and finall...

  • Laura Hoffman Brauman

    Late Migrations is a collection of essays and thoughts on the cycles of life -- both in the author's family as well as in the natural world around her. The nature writing is exquisite -- Renkl excels ...

  • Jennifer

    Profoundly beautiful....

  • rebecca

    I absolutely loved everything about this book.The way that Renkl describes grief, gives softness to the world, draws parallels between the two, and has room to squeeze in both classic and contemporary...

  • Kate

    I loved this book and the author's voice. If you like vignettes about nature and about people, life and death told with a spiritual though not exactly religious voice, Late Migrations is for you. I be...

  • Elizabeth

    Wow. I cried quite a bit while reading this. Cried a lot after finishing this book. Beyond beautiful. Very well written. Checked this out at the library and I will be buying this book ASAP; it’ll be...

  • Caleb Masters

    Late Migrations is a gorgeous, somber treasure of a book. Death and its many forms permeate Margaret Renkl’s meditative work; from the death of her father to the death of a small bird in the road, g...