The Tin-Kin by Eleanor Thom

The Tin-Kin

Eleanor Thom

Told through shifting time periods and alternating narrative voices, this is an enticing and moving story about families, discrimination, abuse and love. Although some chapters are written in Scottish Traveller's Cant it isn't overly intrusive, and with a little patience it's not too difficult to decipher, actually adding a lot of colour to the characters.

Extract

We're used tae hearing everything. Ma haughs her chest out. The bairns play and squabble and greet. The men's boots stamp up and down the dancers. We've tae piss in a bucket since a lorry on its way tae the rag store crashed intae the outhouse wall. And that's nae the half ae it. It's filthy in a house. It cannae be healthy. Ma says we're living like the clartiest ae the country hantle. Cats howl and flech themselves, dogs bark and whine, chase the cats, who flee up the lum and fill the room with soot. Curly and Duncan up the dancers, and Wullie and Jeannie next door'll be rumbling about with each other when they think the bairns are asleep and dreaming - making the bedsprings go squee-eak, squee-eak. If ever it was quiet at night I'd be petrified. I'd think I was the last man alive.

Parallels
  • Buddha Da by Anne Donovan
  • Upstairs in the Tent by Cynthia Rogerson