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The Incomers

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4.09  ·  Rating details ·  43 ratings  ·  12 reviews
Mission-raised Ellie Amadi expects to live a dream life when she and her son Nat leave home in West Africa to join her white, estate factor, husband James in the Fife mining village of Hollyburn. In 1966 Fife, mixed marriages are unusual, never mind interracial ones, and Ellie soon witnesses the villagers’ ignorance of outsiders. Ellie struggles to adapt to her new life an ...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published March 29th 2012 by Fledgling Press
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Average rating 4.09  · 
Rating details
 ·  43 ratings  ·  12 reviews


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Zanna
Apr 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: bechdel-pass
4.5 stars

I bought this book partly because I was so attracted to the beautiful manga style cover art centred on a gorgeously drawn black woman's face. While her necklace looks African to me, her rakish curls of hair, sceptical eyebrow and thick gold earring give her a cartoon romantically piratical air! Meanwhile, two white women on the phone look as if they're either dealing with a crisis or plotting some intrigue, but as it turns out, the protagonist, Ellie, isn't a swashbuckling renegade and
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Peter (Pete) Mcloughlin
I enjoyed this book the characters seem real and compelling. The situation presented had a realistic feel to it. Although the townspeople were pretty awful having not been on the receiving end of racism I have a hard time gauging the true level of this problem but gives a feel for the wear and tear of putting up with racist slights all too often. I like the story a bit strong on the moral culpability of the bad people in the story. I find people much more morally contradictory than the author b ...more
Sarah Broadley
Feb 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
When I pick up a book, I decide to buy it on the back of the promise created by the blurb, the design of the front cover and the first line of text. The Incomers did not disappoint and had me hooked from the first sentence. Ellie and James are married, both hailing from completely different walks of life, who, against all odds eventually settle in rural Scotland from Africa, along with their young son, Nat. The ignorance of the unwelcoming villagers would be enough to send anyone back to their h ...more
Nikki Magennis
Mar 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
I wanted to read this from the first I heard of it. I grew up as an Incomer, so the themes sounded familiar, dangerous and fascinating.
The central character, Ellie, is an instant hit, as is her baby son. Stranded in damp, green Scotland from the heat of the Gambia, I felt protective and fearful for them all the way through the book. Great characterisation, including the wonderful 'The Pairty Line' - unnamed voices gossiping at the end of each chapter. Lots of interwoven layers to this book; rel
...more
Sue
Apr 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
I really liked this book. Ellie is a lovely character, and as a reader, I was willing her on. A lot of the small towns, here in Fife, still have a lot of prejudices, particular the older communities. This book captured how hurtful
prejudice can be, but also how little thought is put into it by others in the majority. I definitely recommend this book
Ruth Turner
Sep 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Get your hands on this book, clear everything else from your to be read pile and read it now.

The transition of a woman from a village in West Africa to a mining village in Scotland is never going to be an easy one, but this story is written with such insight, and, well, just HEART that it is impossible to put down, a joy (and heart-wrenching) read, and one that I know will stay with me for a long time to come.

I think, given what's going on in the world at the moment too, that this should be re
...more
Dawn
May 28, 2014 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book. It is particularly funny if you're Scottish (which I am so I can understand the dialect)If you're not it's going to lose a bit of lustre.
It is the story of Ellie, a black South African woman who has married a man from Fife in northern Scotland and come to life in a small, quaint rather backwards town just after the war era has ended. It is about the prejudice that she receives but also the kindness shown to her by a few.
It's original and funny and uplifting.
Claire Wingfield
Oct 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: just-great-reads
I greatly enjoyed this novel by Scottish author Moira McPartlin. I particularly liked the tender portrayal of the mother’s relationship with her baby son Nat. Rarely do I find infants and babies portrayed convincingly in novels, yet this relationship felt credible and full of warmth. I devoured the novel over 3 days and was in awe of the author’s research. I’m glad I came across this author and ‘The Incomers’ is definitely a book that will stay with me.
Sharondblk
Oct 13, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: scotland
This started so well. The premise is that Ellie, an African woman, met a Scottish man in her unnamed African country, married him and moved to a village in Scotland. When she gets there the locals are far from welcoming.

Good premise. I raced though the first half. And then the second half was just boring. None of the events ever leads to anything else. And repeatedly pointing out that small town Scotland in the 1960s was quite insular and racist is hardly surprising.

The final quarter races towar
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graham morgan
Oct 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wonderful

Loved this in awe of the authors ability to understand and express how people from different backgrounds cultures and experiences may think and feel. I suppose that is what good writing is about! Wish I had the same insight and perceotion
V. Clifford
Jun 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Just read this exceptional book. Sensitive, insightful, poignant. An authentic vision of a mining village in Scotland in the sixties where people dared not be different and the consequences for those who did. I savoured every page.
Littlelou
Jan 03, 2016 rated it liked it
It was my book group title so not necessarily a book I would have chosen for myself. I did however enjoy it and as a resident of Fife myself it was sobering to realise this would most certainly have reflected some peoples attitudes towards a black face in the 1960's. Sadly, it is not always so different 50 yrs later.
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Moira McPartlin
Jul 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
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Moira McPartlin made a big impact with her debut novel The Incomers, which tells the tale of a West African woman moving to a small town in 1960s Scotland. It was shortlisted for the Saltire Society First Book of the Year Award and was a critical success. Novels Ways of the Doomed, Wants of the Silent, and Star of Hope make up the Sun Song Trilogy.
Moira is also a prolific writer of short stories a
...more

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