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“Specht's novel weaves together stories of science and art, friends faraway and family returned. Migratory Animals is a coming-of-age tale for grownups, a reminder that growing pains don't stop as we age and change and become who we're supposed to be -- or who we hope to be. Flannery and her friends will grab hold of you and not let go until the last page has been turned.”
— Annie B. Jones, The Bookshelf, Thomasville, GA
Winner of the Texas Institute of Letters Award and the Writer's League of Texas Fiction Award
A February 2015 Indie Next Selection
A January Apple iBook Selection
An Austin American-Statesman Selects Book
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 duty.
When Flannery, a young scientist, is forced to return to Austin from five years of research in Nigeria, she becomes split between her two homes. Having left behind her loving fiance without knowing when she can return, Flan learns that her sister, Molly, has begun to show signs of the 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.