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Fiction Literary

The Dove in Bathurst Station

by (author) Patricia Westerhof

Brindle & Glass Publishing
Initial publish date
Sep 2013
Literary, Coming of Age, Contemporary Women
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2013
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Sep 2013
    List Price

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Marta Elzinga has been searching for a sign. When she spots an elusive mink on the shoreline of the Toronto Island Airport, she thinks it is a message. The pigeon that boards the subway at Bathurst Station is the second sign. But how to read these dispatches?

Plagued with indecision and prone to magical thinking, Marta needs direction. A floundering guidance counsellor, she struggles to meet the needs of her students, as well as those of her charming but unstable husband. During a tour of historical buildings in Toronto, Marta visits an abandoned subway station and runs into a former student. He invites her to join him in some urban exploration. And so, in the late evenings, Marta comes to traverse the dangerous geography beneath the city’s streets. Through these journeys, Marta confronts the coils in her own thinking about providence, chance, and personal responsibility.

A complex and stirring novel, The Dove in Bathurst Station is about finding hope and reconciliation.

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

Patricia Westerhof's profile page

Editorial Reviews

Read an interview with Patricia Westerhof in The Toronto Quarterly.

Westerhof has a poet’s eye for the meaning beneath the surface of things. A lyrical exploration of one woman’s overdue emotional awakening. —Katrina Onstad, author of Everybody Has Everything

Read an interview with Patricia Westerhof in YYZLiving Magazine

“The book is meticulously researched, and Westerhof's love of place shines through in the wealth of detail.” —Publishers Weekly

A curious portrait, rebellious and spiritual, of a soul’s healing: it touched me with its sense of possibility. —Kathleen Winter, author of Annabel

"The Dove in Bathurst Station is an important book in Toronto's voluminous archive of literature. It explores spirituality, the urban landscape, and the human ability to help others in a thoroughly satisfying manner." —The Goose

“Westerhof has crafted a fine example of what good Christian fiction should be, a much more real and redemptive multilayered literary experience. She has the courage to leave some questions unanswered.” —Joanne's Reading Blog

User Reviews

A Toronto woman searches for signs

You'll enjoy reading this brave account of a Dutch-Canadian woman searching for greater happiness as she explores Toronto's underground and revisits her past. The writing is clean as well as gritty, as in doves and sewers. The writer is compassionate toward all of her characters, who are likable, believable, and flawed.

Other titles by Patricia Westerhof