This is our story.

Michel Ondaatje's novel In the Skin of a Lion takes place in Toronto in the 1920s and 30s. It features many point-of-view characters and jumps years at a time but centres around Patrick Lewis whom we meet as a boy from rural Ontario. He grows up and moves to Toronto where he works as a "searcher" for a missing tycoon, Ambrose Small. Lewis eventually falls in love with Small's mistress and a torrid and unconventional love affair ensues culminating in her leaving him to return to Small.

Then Ondaatje fast forwards a number of years and we find Lewis working as a dynamiter for the city of Toronto on its construction projects. He and his many immigrant co-workers and peers are generally taken advantage of in terms of working conditions and wages. Lewis's new love, Alice Gull, tries to awaken a fire in him to fight for the workers' rights but is unsuccessful until one day she mistakenly picks up the wrong satchel containing a bomb and is blown up. In response, Lewis takes out his anger by bombing a hotel frequented by the rich.

We next find Lewis in jail where he helps a fellow prisoner escape. Another four years after that, Lewis is released from jail and he quickly resumes his crusade against the establishment by targeting the water filtration plant. On the night when he has finished setting the bombs, Lewis seeks out City Commissioner Rowland Harris and they have a climactic reckoning about the city's poor treatment of its workers.