Bewilderment and edge-of-the-sinkhole grief is palpable in this memoir ... The book is best when Patterson is simply a sad and confused daughter ... Patterson's obsession is honest and well wrought ... Though the memoir doesn't solve the riddle of suicide or offer a neat narrative arc, it does show the value of remembering and the importance of paying attention.
Patterson’s poetic sensibility informs her prose as she weaves together ideas about family and research about land in a lyrical way. She’s looking for answers in Sinkhole, but the path that leads to a suicide isn’t linear. It’s more akin to a sinkhole, Patterson writes, spreading and consuming everything around it.
A spare, sensitive evocation of Patterson's experience of grief, paired with an insightful work of family and regional history ... The poet's sensibility is evident in these pages, as she excavates her own raw emotions alongside passages of clear-eyed journalism and creative nonfiction. Sinkhole is a painfully honest and sobering work that may provide insight and comfort to those facing a similar tragedy.
As fascinating as it is upsetting, Patterson has intersected the past and future, imagining the silent crisis happening among the men in her family, as well as the persistent fear of her own potential demise through self-harm, all while considering genetics, societal pressures, and prescribed antidepressants. The end result is an elegantly tragic work of research, history, and creative nonfiction that seeks answers, closure, and ultimate peace.
Stirring ... While there’s catharsis delivered in the book’s final pages, it feels rushed in comparison to the evocative familial history that proceeds it. Even so, Patterson’s lyrical and discerning treatment of a global 'psychological crisis' will keep readers transfixed.