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.”
Late Migrations is an assured and memorable debut.
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- Jennifer N Talbert
Wow! What a great listen! Highly recommend. Was not expecting to get testy, but for anyone with a less than perfect relationship with their parents- this made me want to call my mom and talk:) love the story interwoven with interesting garden and bird information- can’t wait to share this with my other science teacher colleagues!
5 of 6 people found this review helpful