This book is about a clan of Scots who immigrant to Nova Scotia. The narrator is one of the younger brothers Alexander McDonald, he reflects on the Chalum Ruaidh (the red-haired people) with affection and generosity of spirit. The language of the novel depicts the harsh landscape of Cape Breton, and the heroic stories of his brothers. The brothers have lived parent less since late teens and are men of the earth (so to speak) they work as a team in various gigs, such as fishing, logging and mining. The brothers look after each other as they journey along to their individual fate. The narrator by contrast is a orthodontist who has lived with his Grandparents since the age of three when his parents died and some family members tragically in an icy sea up by his grandparents, his tale is different but his family ties root him with his clan. McLeod uses compound metaphors throughout the in the book – see page 72 for a great example. The idea of teeth as identity and belonging is also drawn upon in the text and provides a link to the oppositions that drive the narrative. For example between the educated narrator and his non-educated brothers, who literally pull their own teeth.