Nancy MacLeod's great-great-grandfather brought his family to Cape Breton, Nova Scotia from Raasay, a tiny Scottish island, in the 1840s, in hope of a better life. They prospered in this new world, despite the harsh and unforgiving winters, but clung on to their old traditions and customs for comfort.
Born at the beginning of a new century, Nancy has no patience with the old ways. She declares herself a Canadian and ignores the signs that she has inherited the family's Second Sight. But when her brothers leave home to serve in the First World War, she experiences strange things that she neither understands nor wants to, so when she marries she moves far away from superstitious Cape Breton. Then the Second World War breaks and her eldest son, Calli, goes to England to pursue his dream of being a bomber Command pilot. Calli's plane is shot down and his body never found. Nancy is unable to accept his death. She can still sense a feeling of life attached to him, a branch of the family tree that grows unstoppably while all hope seems lost. And Annie, a girl growing up in Glasgow, has always seen a man in the corner, a young pilot she doesn't know but somehow feels a strange connection with . . .