Scottish by Inclination by Barbara Henderson

I am so excited to be hosting today’s stop on the blog tour for Scottish by Inclination. I absolutely adore Barbara’s books that are mainly steeped in Scottish historical life and are aimed at young folk. But this is something different. This is a book that is charming, funny, informative but overall, downright important.

Barbara is a natural born storyteller and Scottish by Inclination is her tale of how she made Scotland her home. Set against the backdrop of the 2016 EU referendum she shares the tales of fellow European Scots and outlines why so many have added ‘Scottish’ to their identity.

As I say, Barbara is something of a master of storytelling and her retelling of her own experiences is full of warmth and humour, whilst remaining factual and thought-provoking. Barbara left Germany at the age of 19 and over the last 30 years has made Scotland her home. In Scottish by Inclination she lovingly retells her experiences of being a student, teacher and mother in her adopted homeland. This is contrasted by her forced journey to citizenship following the UK’s decision to leave the EU.

But, as I said, Scottish by Inclination is not just Barbara’s story. She spent time interviewing 30 Europeans who, like her, have made Scotland their home and each individual has their own story to tell. Their own story of how they became ‘Scottish by Inclination.’

We hear the stories of a politician, an artist, professors, sportsmen and many more. Every tale is perfectly and honestly shared and I loved reading every single one.

This book is hugely important. Although told in a wonderfully positive manner it forces us to reflect on the decisions the UK made back in 2016 and the impact it has made on our hugely important immigrant population. It reminds us of our commonality, our shared passions and our shared humanity.

This is a really personable, enjoyable and accessible read. It is told with wit and charm, each story shining a light on a European Scot’s journey to settling in our country. It is a beautiful collection about belonging, positivity and hope for the future and it is an absolute must read.

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