Here's the review by Ottawa Life Magazine's feature writer Joel Redekop. Excerpts:

"Chaudière 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."

Here's the link to the full review:

Here's the review by author Wendy MacIntyre. Excerpts:

"This dramatized 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."

"Mulholland takes 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."

"Mulholland vividly 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:

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:

Here's the complete review by writer Mark Van Dusen:

In a 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 wilderness.

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.












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