Father Greg Lockwood is unlike any Catholic priest you have ever met - a man who lounges in boxer shorts, who loves action movies, and whose constant jamming on the guitar reverberates "like a whole band dying in a plane crash in 1972". His daughter is an irreverent poet who long ago left the church's country. When an unexpected crisis leads her and her husband to move back into her parents' rectory, their two worlds collide.
In Priestdaddy, Lockwood interweaves emblematic moments from her childhood and adolescence - from an ill-fated family hunting trip and an abortion clinic sit-in where her father was arrested to her involvement in a cultlike Catholic youth group - with scenes that chronicle the eight-month adventure she and her husband had in her parents' household after a decade of living on their own. Lockwood details her education of a seminarian who is also living at the rectory, tries to explain Catholicism to her husband, who is mystified by its bloodthirstiness and arcane laws, and encounters a mysterious substance on a hotel bed with her mother.
Lockwood pivots from the raunchy to the sublime, from the comic to the deeply serious, exploring issues of belief, belonging, and personhood. Priestdaddy is an entertaining, unforgettable portrait of a deeply odd religious upbringing and how one balances a hard-won identity with the weight of family and tradition.
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Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Suswati on 04-09-17
The eccentric and quirky life of a Catholic family
This is an intriguing memoir about the author's experiences of living in an unconventional, but highly religious family, with a Catholic gun-toting priest for a father. It is highly sarcastic, and hilarious at times, reading about Patricia Lockwood's family antics. When I first began this autobiography, I honestly believed it was set in the 1960s as her father disallows the sisters to go to college, instead spending money on guitars, and describing the effects of living next to a radioactive plant. But lo and behold, Lockwood is writing about only a decade ago.
She leads an eccentric lifestyle, following in her family's footsteps, writing poetry and travelling across the US after a marrying a man off the internet. But it also reveals her doubts about their customs and practices, and how she questions the function of the church - especially with claims of molestation. An interesting and enjoyable listen.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
By Mrs. Meryl Williams on 03-02-18
surprising, moving and original
I loved hearing the author read her own work and give voice to the characters. This made the experience so complete. She plays with language and confidently dives into lyrical asides sometimes just for the pleasure of it. This book feels raw and honest and beautiful ... and very funny too.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Mel on 18-05-17
Holy Smutty Metaphors!
Lockwood is a new author to me. If I was hip, I'd have heard of Lockwood prior to buying this starred darling. I'd have known that the NY Times has crowned Lockwood the "smutty-metaphor queen." She has a big Twitter following and is the author of a book of poetry, "Motherland Fatherland Homelandsexuals." Lockwood is also a boundary pushing comic with an acerbic wit and a long windup into a delivery that packs a punch to your thinking process.
Lockwood as an author is a fantastic writer with a keen sense of observation. Her stories in this memoir are skillfully told with heart; her narrative smoothly slips from quirky hilarity into depths of sincere revelation. Daddy was a former Lutheran minister, married with children when he is compelled to convert to Catholicism. Granted a "dispensation" from Rome, he is "allowed to keep his wife....even allowed to keep his children, no matter how bad they might be." It is later revealed that his case was reviewed by Joseph Ratzinger, who we now know becomes Pope Benedict XVI. Living with a Catholic Priest, the family also shares the life of a priest and his flock from an intimate vantage point. Lockwood not only sees different lives and circumstances, she has a compassion that sees the perspectives.
The style reminded me of Mic Night at the local bookstore, where poets and storytellers get up and share their latest writings. The words weighted and paused for timing, the occasional interjection of a word or event meant to produce some level of shock in the listener, as you sip coffee or wine. You've no desire to attend the performance but you're dragged by a friend. It's good to get out, see friends, and somehow you end up enjoying the performances. That was this book for me. If I was more familiar with the work of Lockwood, I would have passed; NOT for any reason other than it is not a format or a genre I enjoy. Everything was top rate: the writing the content, the narration -- especially the narration by the author herself which adds another dimension -- it was not for me. I hope that my personal opinion doesn't dissuade anyone interested in this book.
26 of 29 people found this review helpful
By Penelope on 06-08-17
Terrible narration--read, don't listen
This is a great example of why authors should think long and hard before they narrate their own books. Few have the skill to do so. This narration emphasized the weak points of the writing and overwhelmed the good. The only word I can think of to describe the prose is "florid"...why use one metaphor when five in row might be better? (Because it makes you sound like the winner of the bad poetry/prose contest) Often the descriptions are hilariously overwrought. "The procession passed like a snake's lingerie". What? Still, there's a great story here, interesting characters, and thought provoking insights. It is truly unfortunate these are buried neck deep in downright annoying voices. All of the characters sound like they are coming out of the mouth of a middle school actress overplaying every line, trying to reach the back of the theatre. The mother's voice is a cross between the Wicked Witch and one of the Kardashian sisters. Priestdaddy's voice belongs in Wayne's World, a lunatic stoner. That guy is saying Mass? The main character's tone is so relentlessly snarky--insufferable,sneering adolescent--that you can't stand the girl. When the narrator occasionally dialed down her "performance" and spoke in a believable, authentic way, it was a beautiful calm in the middle of a storm of bad acting. This was a challenging book to narrate. The author wasn't up to the task and did her own writing a great disservice.
16 of 19 people found this review helpful