Sometimes you find a book, you read it, and you like it, and it influences your future reading choices. Laws of Migration by J. Suzanne Frank was just such a book. I read this volume, and it was a fascinating journey through a woman’s career, her love life, and her love of birds. Even with all of this plot, the book’s also has a love of Morocco that shines through and inspired me to read more about destinations in Africa and the Middle East. Since first reading Laws of Migration, I have read several additional books set in these locales and loved most of them, but Laws still holds a special place in my esteem.
When I first decided to read this volume, I was intrigued by the idea of a story about a woman journeying to Morocco to watch birds. Birding has managed to snag a lot of high profile mentions in film, television and other books lately, and I just wanted to continue along with the theme and explore it at a deeper level than movies have.
Laws of Migration went deeper than a surface level exploration of birding and actually developed so much more of the ornithologist, Elize, than her professional career. In fact, birding ultimately becomes a backdrop and a metaphor for her personal growth and the development of an assertiveness that is so much different than the hard, breakable confidence she possessed at the beginning of the book.
During the book, she also developed a romance that, at first, seemed a bit cliched in the “you will meet a tall, dark stranger” vain, but it managed to transcend that and become a bit more dynamic than initially expected.
All and all, the volume has a nice balance of life, work, and love explored in a natural way.