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Catch Me When I Fall

3.69  ·  Rating details ·  36 ratings  ·  11 reviews
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 wi
Paperback, 160 pages
Published March 15th 2011 by Brindle and Glass Publishing (first published March 1st 2011)
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Average rating 3.69  · 
Rating details
 ·  36 ratings  ·  11 reviews

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A collection of engaging, somewhat compelling short stories. I enjoyed the realistic struggles of the characters, and that many of the stories did not come with pat conclusions, capturing instead the complexities of human relationships and life events.
I surprisingly enjoyed this novel. It was selected by my book club, and I wasn't too enthusiastic about it initially. Being of Dutch-Canadian background myself, I was tentative about reading about the Dutch-Canadian experience and the colliding of Dutch and Canadian ideals and values. I could relate to the cultural oddities that appear in the stories, and I was pleasantly surprised to find that Westerhof tackled tough moral issues head-on. Older Dutch-Canadians often come with a stoicism, and it ...more
Friederike Knabe
Jan 30, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: canadian-lit
Whenever she doubts her role as "just a housewife", Vicky recalls her granny, 'Oma', giving her the following advice: "Love, she taught me, is not a feeling. It is an austere and practical discipline. A service. It demands loyalty, devotion, and self-sacrifice." Oma had escaped to Canada from Holland in January 1945 with Vicky's father and her other four children with nothing but the clothes they wore, the family Bible and a piece of paper giving the name of somebody to contact. Now, taking care ...more
Jul 19, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Beautiful book. I could hardly put it down -- sharing almost nothing of the characters' cultural background, I was surprisingly drawn to them because of the writer's skill in revealing the seeds of commonality in the struggles, challenges, joys, and growth experiences that are shared across humanity. The writing is well balanced -- exactly what I look for in fiction -- the right blend of dialogue and description. The language is sparse, but refreshingly honest and very rich in the inner landscap ...more
Karen Bisschop
Aug 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
Found it by chance while searching for a book for a library patron the other day. Turned out to be a great Sunday read, and I think it is going to punch around my soul for awhile. A gracious exploration of culture and religion and individual belief and integrity. Although fiction it reminded me a bit of the memoir, I am Hutterite by Mary-Ann Kirkby.
Jan 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing
The author captures so much truth in short anecdotes, and does it gently and with appreciation for the other side of the coin, the silver lining. I love the title: we are definitely going to fall, and we trust we'll be caught. Probably like it so much because it's my background and I know lots of people like the ones she describes. But maybe we all do. ...more
Apr 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Kirsten by: Sarah
Shelves: canada, fiction, stories
This book left me hungry for more--more stories, with more depth--and the sense that this is just a beginning of the stories that my community could tell if we valued good fiction enough to write more of it and nurture those who write it. So I'm hoping for a great Dutch-Canadian literary awakening. ...more
Dec 02, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This was a good read. Not your typical novel as the main character is the town church. This book gives an insight to the people in the pews that make up the town and the church. Life isn't what it appears to be.....a good reminder for all. Very insightful! ...more
Feb 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
I don't usually enjoy short stories but these were beautifully rendered and I was sad when the characters left the pages. ...more
Sep 25, 2011 rated it it was ok
Not worth reading.
Adrian Hoad-Reddick
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Corinne Wasilewski
Apr 22, 2014 rated it liked it
An unflinching look at life when faith is pushed to the limit. Tender and brave.
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Jeff Westerhof
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patricia westerhof was born to Dutch Canadian parents, and has lived in The Netherlands, rural Alberta and Ontario. She is the author of The Dove in Bathurst Station, a novel, and of Catch Me When I Fall, a collection of linked stories. She co-authored of The Writer’s Craft, a textbook for creative writing students. Patricia lives in Toronto where she teaches English and creative writing. Please v ...more

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