Consider the Lilies was written by Iain Crichton Smith in 1968. It is a novel about the fortunes of an elderly highland woman during the clearances of the eighteenth century. Over the course of this essay I will try to show how a single moment of realisation turns the novel completely and send the character of Mrs Scott in a different direction.
The novel takes place in Sutherland and focuses on Mrs Scott, an elderly and religious woman who is being evicted from her home. Her past has defined her and having watched her mother go mad and die, and her husband and son both leave her, she feels she is losing all control of her own happiness. In desperation, she seeks the help of her minister but he rejects her, claiming that the power of the law is more powerful than the law of God, and that she would have to be evicted. This betrayal by the church leads to her changing her entrenched views dramatically and learning to accept life one day at a time, without the religion that has sustained her.