Praise for The Water of Life

Winner of the 2009 Émile-Ollivier literary prize, awarded by the Conseil supérieur de la langue française du Québec, for a Canadian novel published in French in a province other than Québec.

The novel was also short-listed for:

  • Le Prix des lecteurs de Radio-Canada (Prize awarded by the French-language network of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) 2009
  • The Trillium Award (literary prize offered by the Ontario Ministry of Culture) 2009

Critics’ comments:

“Water Of Life a tale that is part tragic, part infused with the romance of single malt whisky. It’s the latter that both serves as the main draw of the book and makes up the bulk of its substance. (…) Marchildon has woven an entertaining stroll down Whisky Lane.”

 — Richard Thomas, Whiskey reviewer web site (Sept. 2016)

“This book is a remarkable literary expedition that keeps you breathless up until the very last page …  a must read — with a glass in hand.”

                            — Yves Dubuc, radio-host, CBON FM Radio-Canada, for the Radio-Canada web site: 100 must read Canadian novels (April 2015).

“Daniel Marchildon’s novel stand outs by its originality, the quality of his writing and depth of his research.  It rapidly draws the reader into a strange realm where the characters dream of achieving a life of happiness, peace, and love. ”

—remarks from the jury of the Émile-Ollivier Prize, September 2009

“The plot line is multi-layered and dense but the reader is never lost, proof of the author’s talent. (…) life and death stand out as the main protagonists of this novel where restraint and a violence go side by side, (…) but the story remains well-structured, and goes beyond the anecdotal to invite us to reflect on universal themes.”

— Normand Cazelais, p. 26, Lettres québécoises, Fall 2009

“Quite a fictional story built on the real history of  single malt. Surprising, entertaining, and well researched.”

— Martine Nouet, Whisky Magazine, (French edition published in France) no. 26, page 2, May/June 2008

“Through these deft shifts from the present to the past, Daniel Marchildon creates a certain suspense, nourishes the reader’s anticipation of discovering how all these family branches will converge at Lighthouse Point. (…) Some of these stories that form an integral part of the novel, are true, and draw the reader into breathtaking dramas.”

— Valérie Lessard, Le Droit, Ottawa, page A4, February 23, 2008

“Being neither a whisky drinker or admirer,  I started reading Marchildon’s book with a certain apprehension. (…) I dove into it, and (…) after some fifty pages, I was drunk on it and bent on continuing. (…) All told, Daniel Marchildon has managed to create a great story around this turbulent family saga that all those who love either history, whisky, or good literature will find interesting.”

— Marguerite Anderson, la revue Liaison, p. 48, no. 140, summer  2008

“Daniel Marchildon knows how to distill life (…) He has written solid novels about athletic and cultural achievements.  His new book fabulously combines his two  passions. (…) He meshes a good story with a good History while recounting a turbulent family saga stretching across two continents (…)”

— Paul-François Sylvestre, L’express de Toronto, page 7, April 15, 2008

“(…) a nice fictional story about a mythic whisky evolving through the ages (…) the book informs  almost as much as it entertains.”

—  Québec Whisky Net, November 27, 2008

“It’s a colossal work that stands out (…) Quite simply masterful!  (…) Without a doubt, a great novel.  If you’re looking for a read that is different, original, or unique, this should fit the bill.”

—  L. Bergelou, Le Bulletin régional Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean, May 2010

« (…) a whisky story accessible to all, (…) to be savoured very quickly! There’s no risk, as far as I can see, of being disappointed by the author’s knowledge of Scotch: he knows his stuff!”

— The UP Berry whisky club blog

“His work stand outs by its originality, the quality of his writing and his thorough research.  ”

—  Le soleil de Québec, (Quebec City daily newspaper) page 10, April 7, 2010





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