Welcome to Poplar Grove, a farming community with three generations of Dutch-Canadians. Life in the New World has not become less complicated as the decades have passed, and now, a set of dying customs is about to collide with the ways of a new generation.
The balance is shifting between people comfortable holding hymnals and cleaning cows’ teats and those who are uneasy with traditional expectations. A young woman grapples with contradiction between the pious appearance of her best friend’s family and the bits of reality she hears in her friend’s confidences; a woman mourns the loss of her disabled son, but also wishes to end the ritual state of mourning; a girl finds herself stranded on the battlefield between her new-age brother and her Old World parents. These people are bound by time-worn expectations and the demands of an agricultural life. With humour and insight, author Patricia Westerhof examines a place where opposing ideologies mingle, and a community struggles to redefine who and what they are.
About the author
Patricia Westerhof is the author of The Dove in Bathurst Station and Catch Me When I Fall. She was born to Dutch Canadian parents and spent parts of her childhood in Holland and rural Alberta. Her Dutch roots and memories of these two places were the inspiration behind Catch Me When I Fall. Her work has been published in Room Magazine, the Dalhousie Review, and the anthology Trees Running Backward, and she is the co-author of a textbook for creative writing students called The Writer's Craft. Patricia lives in Toronto with her husband and two daughters, where she teaches English and creative writing. Please visit patriciawesterhof.com.
Westerhof gives voice to these quiet and confused people, and depicts their struggle in finding their own voice against God, family and their love. —The Telegraph-Journal
Westerhof writes with quiet intensity and an anthropologist's eye. Her stories are to us a reminder that the ideological differences that threaten to divide generations have faces. —The Christian Courier
Westerhof treats her material with a deft touch; she has an ability to show both sides of an issue with alacrity and understanding. . . . Catch Me When I Fall completely succeeds in its portrayal of a community whose parents are coming to grips with the fact that their children will leave heir agrarian homes to make their way in the bigger, more complicated world. Patricia Westerhof's debut is impressive. —Prairie Fire Review of Books
In her first collection, Catch Me When I Fall, Patricia Westerhof weaves eleven stories into a sensitively imagined, multi-layered tapestry of life in a small farming community in central Alberta.. —MostlyFiction.com
Westerhof knows her characters well, in all their braveness and brokenness. —Joanne's Reading Blog