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.