For the only time that I can remember, I finished a book, turned to the title page, and read it again. Patricia Lockwood’s Priestdaddy: A Memoir is that good: witty, perceptive, and crafted. She’s a poet, and it shows, the imagery and the diction are that vibrant.
Priestdaddy is the story of a warm, weird family and the nine months that Lockwood and her husband lived with her parents, after more than a decade on her own. Her father received a dispensation from the Vatican to be ordained when Lockwood and her siblings were children. Sharing the rectory are her blunt, punny mother and a young seminarian with a good sense of humor. He needs it.
Greg Lockwood is larger than life. He collects electric guitars and regularly retreats to his room to pick out “The Riff.” In the sanctity of the rectory, he foreswears pants and strip to boxers, no matter what.
Lockwood took notes during her visit; the result is verbatim dialogue so outrageous it had me shaking with laughter. She also flashes back to events form her childhood and adolescence that shaped her, and she traces her development as a poet. The tone she establishes is a rare one — simultaneously light and dark.
I’ve already ordered Patricia Lockwood’s two poetry collections. I want to read everything she writes.
Review Nancie, one of our volunteer shelvers.
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