This story is set in Toronto, today. Alexander MacDonald is visiting his older brother Calum.
Calum lives in misery and alcoholism but in the past, he used to be the fearless boss of the MacDonald clan, a great lineage of fishermen, lumberjacks and miners, like his ancester Calum Ruadh who left Scotland in 1779 to start a new life in Nova Scotia, the « land of the trees ».
The reader is taken on a trip through space an time, from the streets of Toronto to the shores of Nova Scotia, from the Highlands of Scotland to the uranium mines of Ontario, as if nothing had changed in the past three centuries.
This story is about loyalty : loyalty to an heritage, to the Gaelic language – which is still spoken and sung there – to the workers and to family. Whatever tragic event happens, « Blood is thicker than water » as the grandmother always says.