Priest Daddy by Patricia Lockwood

Patricia Lockwood shares her memories of life growing up in the Midwest of America with her father who underwent “the deepest conversion on record”. His change from atheist to a catholic priest occurred after being locked in a submarine watching the exorcist while serving in the navy. The memoir tracks her return to her family’s home, with husband and cat in tow. Priest Daddy is fun in parts but deeply intimate in others. The impact of a rather perverted view of sexuality and Patricia’s evolution out of that world is highlighted. “Ah Well, I can’t argue with that,” I say, silently adding…without making myself crazy for the rest of my life”. Patricia and her mother go on vacation together. Once out of the shadow of her father’s dominance her mother begins to blossom. “My mother’s feminism goes on four wheels… Here in the rarefied space of the car…she tries something out. She says, “I think this song is sexist”. The fast moving story draws us along. The eight months she lives at home brings up memories pivotal to Lockwood’s growth that remind us of harsher realities. Personal crystallisations of experience delve us into her world. Acceptance is part of this coming of age story and is core to the family remaining close despite their different takes on the world.

Priest Daddy
Published: 2017

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