This book was recommended by a fellow swim parent and was a fantastic read! The narrator, a successful orthodontist, tells the tale of a Scottish family, linked by history, blood and the Cape Breton landscape while reminiscing with his older brother, Calum who he visits and has lived a life of hardship and struggle. The love and support for his brother is obvious and he loves his brother unconditionally. Calum was named after the clan’s original patriarch, Calum Ruadh, who immigrated with his 12 children to Cape Breton, losing his second wife on the journey. The family history is told through stories interspersed with Gaelic songs and language and weaves the present and past to describe hardship, loss, success and resilience of the descendants of Calum Ruadh.
The author died in April of 2014 following a stroke and this book was regarded as one of the Atlantic’s greatest books. It apparently took the author 10 years to finish writing it and this will be a book that I will reread to appreciate the richness and description of the story.
“All of us are better when we are loved.” (Alistair MacLeod)