The Incomers is a strong and poignant tale of life in Fife for Ellie and her young son. Recently moved from Africa, the race and tensions of the 60’s play havoc with her chances of ever really belonging in the small mining village. The residents’ ignorance of culture and unwillingness to accept anyone outwith their kin, is captured impeccably. The reader is left bemused and saddened by the inexcusable prejudices that follow Ellie as she tries to make her mark. A fantastic journey through the eyes of African Ellie, her dim-witted Scottish husband and the perplexing community she finds herself living in. A breathtaking example of courage, pride and hope which urges you, the reader, to root for her right to the last page.
The Hospice book worms were very fortunate to have Moira McPartlin as their guest. Enthralled by her journey to create this intriguing story, she took us on a virtual trip through her own life story in Fife and then onto the planes of Gambia as she researched the wonderful land and its people for this book. Moira is currently working on her second novel THE WAYS OF THE DOOMED due to be published in the summer.
The Incomers did not disappoint and had me hooked from the first sentence. The ignorance of the unwelcoming villagers would be enough to send anyone back to their homeland but I found myself willing Ellie forward in her journey to be accepted by the Fifers. Being brought up with a party line on our house phone, I was intrigued how this would be portrayed in 60’s Fife. The dialect is tactfully spread out, creating a view of life of some of the locals that is paramount to understanding the lay of the land at that time. An excellent read that I cannot recommend highly enough. 5/5
The Incomers was deeply disturbing, not least because it made one realise that the prejudices and social divisions seen in 1960’s Scotland largely still exist. The misery of those characters who suffered most was palpable and the inability of others, mainly John, to improve matters was shocking and profoundly sad. The near disaster of Nat’s kidnap by Carol appeared to alter the approach of some of the villagers who seemed more willing to accept the stranger in their midst. Poor Ellie: I hope she survived. 4/5
TOTAL SCORE: 29.5/40