'Alistair Mair's novel examines the conflicts of parent-child, husband-wife relationships in all their hypocrisy, durability and underlying violence. He has made a magnetically readable novel, touching and frightening by turns, with all the authentic and baffling twists of human behaviour.'
Vintage Editorial Reviews of The Ripening Time, 1970 - 1972:
'...a tenacious piece of realism...' ~ The Sunday Times
"Strong and subtle characterisation ... admirable authenticity." ~ Sunday Telegraph
"Since the author worked as a doctor in Scotland he must know his own folk, but it comes as a shock to sheltered English readers." ~ Observer
'As an observer he is first rate ... His characters too are splendidly defined...' ~ The Illustrated London News
Glasgow, 1960. A time of bright new beginnings ...
The Gorbals tenements are being demolished and gleaming new estates are carving their way through the green fields that surround the city.
Tom, raised in a Glasgow tenement, is a sheltered, self-contained lad who drifts through life while his widowed mother worries about his inability to find the right girl. Then Mary from the new Easterton estate takes him in hand.
Surrounded by all the sparkling new appliances of hire-purchase matrimony, the recession begins to bite. Long hours, loneliness and cruelty lead Tom to drift off in another direction, down the garden to the safe haven of his greenhouse.
A man needs a hobby, and surely gardening never hurt a soul ...
The original hardback novel The Ripening Time and the paperback entitled The Tomato Man are out of print but can still be found in Abe books or on Amazon through quality collectors' bookshops worldwide.