From Poverty to Poverty: A Scotsman Encounters Canada is a whimsical account of a young man’s life in Scotland and his immigration to Canada.
Ian Moore-Morrans chronicles his experiences as a young boy growing up in poverty in Scotland. He whisks the reader through to his young adulthood and he and his wife’s immigration to Canada, where they go in search of a better life.
Overall, this tale has a cheery, conversational tone. Moore-Morrans’ story carries the reader along through adventure after adventure with energy, enthusiasm, and an occasional sarcastic touch. For instance, as he describes his Scotland home, he writes, “Everything we had was on the verge of being useless—otherwise, whoever it belonged to originally would have kept it, and we would have had absolutely nothing.”
Moore-Morrans wards off criticism of his colloquial speech early in his tale. He writes, “My editor and I had a disagreement about allowing ‘Scottishisms’ (as she calls them) into my narrative. I insisted on leaving them in … Thus you’ll find the occasional sentence such as ‘So, there’s me, the great boatbuilder.’” This explanation protects the author from some criticism and makes the occasional grammatical error endearing to the reader.
Where anecdotes would have provided a fuller picture of Moore-Morrans’ life, he provides general remarks. For instance, “To put it bluntly, many times, quite often for more than two days at a time, we had nothing at all to eat in the house—not one thing—so I had to fend for myself.” Replacing his extensive description with specific stories would have been a more effective way for Moore-Morrans to convey his experiences to his audience. On a more positive note, Moore-Morrans’ use of dialogue brings the story alive.
Overall, the book is well-produced, well-written, and fully entertaining. Its formatting, presentation, and layout contribute to a delightful reading experience. Moore-Morrans’ experiences and impressive storytelling abilities make From Poverty to Poverty: A Scotsman Encounters Canada a captivating book for any reader.