The Company of Strangers

Eileen Campbell

In the summer of 1959, 11-year-old Ellie is exiled to a small village in the Scottish Highlands, and into the care of a grandmother she scarely knows. Her father, she learns, is illegitimate and Ellie resolves to find her missing grandfather and reunite him with her grandmother and her father. With each passing day she becomes poignant witness to the difficulties, and humour, of the people who inhabit Inchbrae – and ultimately her heart. Her grandmother Dot – eccentric lover of Billie Holliday and whisky; Dot’s friend Rita’s on-again off-again marriage to the local butcher Pat; Pat’s son Joe who intands to run away and search for his real mother; the Fishbeins, Jewish refugees who run the grocer’s; the well-spoken wino Dreep and last and not least Hooligan, the battered old mongrel stray who becomes the centre of Ellie’s heart.