THE ALIEN LIGHT by Iain Crichton Smith


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Scotland, more peat than heather, and the 19th century Clearances when the crofters were driven from their cottages frames this novel which deals with the eviction of old Mrs. Scott. Seventy, enclosed within her memories, set in the old ways, confused often in mind but never in purpose, Mrs. Scott lives as much in the past with her husband who died in Spain, or her boy who went off to Canada. Knowing only that the years have taught her to endure and sometimes to question godlessness (particularly that of neighboring Donald Macleod--an actual character in the Highlands' history), Mrs. Scott resists in the full knowledge that defeat will inevitably diminish her resolute defiance. . . . Mr. Smith is a poet, and effective images brighten the spare landscape. You will not easily forget his beleaguered small woman or the artistic compression and composure with which he has told her story although the book will face self-evident strictures.

Pub Date: Feb. 25th, 1969
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin