Book Review: Trillium by A. Brindle
Award-winning local author and artist, Margaret Lindsay Holton, has done it again with her third novel, ‘Trillium’. A fast-paced historical saga, this well-structured story, set in the Golden Horseshoe region of southern Ontario, follows the evolution of three families over 250 years. It was a book I could not put down.
The novel starts with the British conquest over the French at the Niagara River in the 1750s and the subsequent development of pioneer settlements by the ‘land-grant’ British soldiers throughout the Niagara region. It moves rapidly into the next century as land-poor Italians and famine-driven Irish immigrate into southern Ontario.
Three single enterprising male characters, the “seeds”, start their lineage in Canada. Each man represents their inherited culture and perceptual bias. The novel blossoms generations later, in 1965, as their Canadian descendants intermingle at a summer bonfire bash on Lake Ontario.
Strong characters represent each generation: some likeable, some less so. Through long-standing feuds and the forging of strong relationships, the three families learn to survive on the land.
The women in this saga are particularly inspiring. They are an essential foil to the passions of the male characters. Within the frameworks of their families, wives, mothers and daughters have their own intimate stories to tell. They round out this beguiling portrait of this land and its people.
Equal parts historical fact and invented social romp, this character-driven novel grips you from the get-go. The players all have their own ties to the land that eventually, through their hard work, sweat and swindling, becomes the Niagara wine-making region that we know today. Cultures and personalities frequently clash. Love is lost and found. Feuds simmer and erupt. But, above all, it is the pull and promise of the rich fertile soil that drives the characters forward.
Author Holton convincingly immerses the reader in a rural world we recognize but did not fully know. We emerge with a broader appreciation of the importance and enduring value of roots, past and present. Highly recommend. The author will be holding a the ‘Meet & Greet’ at A Different Drummer on Friday, Dec 7th at 7-8pm
Available in epub ($9.99) & print form ($24.99) via >

John Best has had a lengthy media management career, in television and radio and now print. As Vice President, News at CHCH in Hamilton, John oversaw a significant expansion of the news operation. He founded Independent Satellite News, Canada’s only television news service providing national content to Canadian independent TV stations. John is a frequent political commentator on radio and television, a documentary producer and author of a book and numerous articles on historical and political subjects. John is a past recipient of the New York Festival’s award for writing in the International TV category.

Leave a Reply

  • (not be published)