Fresh out of college and reeling from the failure of a marriage that had barely even begun, Marcus takes a teaching job in a tiny northern-Canadian native community. While struggling to grasp his own predicament, Marcus finds himself entangled in much larger community tragediesthe suicide of an aging priest and the death of two young students from exposure. But it is his discovery of the writings of Émile Petitota controversial nineteenth-century missionary Oblate priest, linguist and ‘explorer’which finally threatens to unhinge Marcus, launching him on an obsessive quest for answers. In this novel, Susan Haley explores the troubled life and dubious claims of Father Petitot, whose fifteen years beneath the Arctic Circle were punctuated by scandal, delusional behaviour and episodes of outright madness and paranoiaproblems which caused him to be shuffled from mission to mission, temporary excommunication and even forcibly hospitalized by the bishop. Haley’s binocular approach ruptures the normal historical perspective as she attempts to depict Petitot in all his complexity, both through the eyes of his Inuit and Cree contemporaries and through those of Marcus, who sifts through the written records of one man’s life in search for the truth about us all.