Finalist for the Sunburst Award for Excellence in Canadian Literature of the Fantastic
"A dark fable that somehow feels both timeless and urgently topical. The Migration is heart-wringing and powerful, but over and above that, it's just vivid and immersive and enthralling throughout." --M.R. Carey, author of The Girl with All the Gifts
When I was younger I didn't know a thing about death. I thought it meant stillness, a body gone limp. A marionette with its strings cut. Death was like a long vacation--a going away. Not this.
Storms and flooding are worsening around the world, and a mysterious immune disorder has begun to afflict the young. Sophie Perella is about to begin her senior year of high school in Toronto when her little sister, Kira, is diagnosed. Their parents' marriage falters under the strain, and Sophie's mother takes the girls to Oxford, England, to live with their Aunt Irene. An Oxford University professor and historical epidemiologist obsessed with relics of the Black Death, Irene works with a Centre that specializes in treating people with the illness. She is a friend to Sophie, and offers a window into a strange and ancient history of human plague and recovery. Sophie just wants to understand what's happening now; but as mortality rates climb, and reports emerge of bodily tremors in the deceased, it becomes clear there is nothing normal about this condition--and that the dead aren't staying dead. When Kira succumbs, Sophie faces an unimaginable choice: let go of the sister she knows, or take action to embrace something terrifying and new.
Tender and chilling, unsettling and hopeful, The Migration is a story of a young woman's dawning awareness of mortality and the power of the human heart to thrive in cataclysmic circumstances.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
A baffling epidemic, extreme weather systems…and a scourge of undead. In Helen Marshall’s sinister debut novel, Sophie and her family leave Canada for the UK after her parents split up and her little sister, Kira, comes down with the unexplainable virus that’s killing hordes around the world. Marshall puts her academic background in literature written at the time of the black death to good use here: her artful storytelling has eerie, gothic undertones, and she brilliantly teases out the notion of disease as physical illness and metaphor. The apocalyptic events she imagines are super creepy—and a little too real for comfort.