Priestdaddy is about what life is like for any pastor’s kid, but this one has a genuine gift for words ... there is a jellyfish quality to Lockwood’s narration. It is easy to be distracted and delighted by her strange, phosphorescent prose, but the wisp of an idea brushes against you, and before you know it, there’s a welt ... She looks back with longing at the faith she left as soon as she could, and the family she never will, telling the kind of stories that humiliate and humanize both. Priestdaddy proves over and over that Christianity isn’t as dull as you’ve been led to believe, and that religion isn’t our age’s only absurdity.
...full of American contradictions and dense with brilliant sentences ... [her father] emerges with a vividity that will be familiar to the lapsed children of religious men given to reactionary grunting and voting for Donald Trump ... Lockwood’s chronicle of her homecoming at times lacks dramatic tension, but it’s consistently charming ... Moving from a place of light into darkness and then returning to light is something very rare indeed. It has the shape of salvation.
Her parents’ habits and catchphrases, her oddly religious yet profane upbringing, and her own mischievous attitude toward her childhood religion are the stuff of pure comedy, and Lockwood doesn’t waste a drop of it ... It’s a testament to Lockwood’s way with words that glimpses of such grotesque wrongdoing, painfully candid reflection on her youth and her family, and countless sidesplitting anecdotes about her boxer-clad father and her safety-obsessed mother can not only coexist in this book, but weave together seamlessly, constructing a memoir that’s propulsively readable and brimming with humor and insight.