the review by Ottawa Life Magazine's feature writer Joel
Falls: A Novel of Dramatized History . . . is both an orthodox
and atypical addition to the genre of historically-based fiction."
"It is epic in scope . . ." "Ultimately, Chaudière
Falls is a labour of love, a thoughtfully crafted history of
a story not often told. While history is easy to mythologize, the
novel's sober approach shows the author's remarkable eye for detail.
For the history fiends who like fact to work in tandem with fiction,
Chaudière Falls is a can't miss."
the link to the full review: http://www.ottawalife.com/article/chaudiere-falls-a-novel-of-dramatized-history?c=18
the review by author Wendy MacIntyre. Excerpts:
history relates in gripping detail how a lawless lumber town became
the civilized capital of the nation. The author's superb research
brings to life the heart-breaking challenges faced by the men and
women who founded Bytown, including Colonel John By, the determined
engineer who built the Rideau Canal that was to become the region's
military and economic lifeline."
us inside the sad plight of the Irish labourers on the Canal who
undertook the backbreaking and dangerous labour of cutting through
two miles of rock, at least sixty feet deep. We enter into their
tragic and brief lives, marred by disease, crippling and often-fatal
accidents, poverty and prejudice."
depicts the community's striking transformations, with the building
of the Market Square, Notre-Dame and Christ Church Cathedrals, the
arrival of the Grey Nuns and the founding of the Bruyère
Hospital, the ever-growing variety of shops and artisans on Rideau
Street, where geese, pigs and cows once roamed free amongst pedestrians,
and ultimately, the rise of the new capital's Gothic Parliament
Buildings on Barrack Hill."
"Through his fictional
protagonist, Jedediah Jansen, who from boyhood onward seeks emotional
refuge on "his" rock overlooking the Chaudière
Falls, Mulholland shows us the physical and emotional toll the lumber
industry took on an individual. Jed's life is marked by risk, financial
uncertainty, violence and the loss of loved ones. The long, hard
seasons in the bush tax his marriage, resulting in a tragic train
of events and his troubled quest for redemption."
Here's the link to the
full review on my publisher's website: https://burnstownpublishing.com/product/chaudiere-falls-a-novel-of-dramatized-history/
Ms. MacIntyre is a writer
in Carleton Place, Ontario. Her novels include Mairi, The Applecross
Spell, Apart, Lucia's Masks, and her newest novel, Hunting
Piero. Here's the link to her website: http://wendymacintyreauthor.ca
the complete review by writer
Mark Van Dusen:
day of tiny attention spans and fake news, Chaudière Falls
reminds us of the value of meticulously researched history. The
655-page narrative brims with period details that support David
Mulholland's historical-fiction epic.
In Falls, he throws
back the curtain on roughly six key decades during which a backwoods
settlement hacks, brawls, and negotiates its way toward becoming
a new nation. It's the early 1800s at the confluence of three great
rivers: the Ottawa, Rideau, and Gatineau. Here, on the lip of the
great cataract venerated by the Algonquins, pioneer Philemon Wright
carves out the first farm from the towering bush, and launches the
timber trade that fires the fledgling colony.
Famous figures abound
as Upper and Lower Canada eye each other suspiciously across the
tumultuous abyss. There are the builders: Billings, McKay, and Sparks.
The timber barons: Gilmour, Bronson, and Eddy. Commanding Royal
Engineer Lieutenant-Colonel John By rises above the rankling as
he administers the growing town that bears his name and, against
all odds, pushes his monumental canal through the dense, towering
While British nabobs
and tree-stump contrivers jostle for Queen Victoria's influence
over the naming of a new capital, through his fictional character,
backwoodsman Jed Jansen, Mulholland poignantly relates the pioneer's
personal struggle to survive.
Historians have written
much about milestones like the Battle of the Plains of Abraham,
the War of 1812, and the building of the transcontinental railway.
The six decades compellingly depicted in Chaudière Falls
may not include a precise, dramatic milestone, but it was those
years that significantly shaped our looming confederation. Credit
to Mulholland for recognizing the impact of a lost era, and for
so adroitly putting it to pen.