Millennials have developed a unique rite of passage: moving back in with our parents. For better or for worse, we have turned returning home into a common aspect of adulthood. The trend is not necessarily a bad one, but it does create a situation in which there is bound to be at least occasional conflict, no matter how close the familial bond of the people involved.
We see exactly that in Priestdaddy by Patricia Lockwood. When unexpected medical expenses leave her and her husband, Jason, with a badly depleted bank account, they have no choice but to take her parents up on their offer of shelter. As a result, they find themselves living in a rectory with her father, a Catholic priest with a penchant for being pants-less, and her devout and endlessly quotable mother.
Fortunately, Lockwood turned the experience into something special: source material for her memoir. The book shares the highs and lows of her several-months-long stint under her parents’ roof, interweaving her family’s often insane antics with moving reflections on her childhood and their relationship. Lockwood and Jason have to fight to keep their sanity intact, but that is part of what makes their story so enjoyable.
Priestdaddy captures the challenges that arise in such situations, as well as the special moments that accompany them. Lockwood goes through a variety of normal phases, from regressing into her younger self and struggling to co-exist, to discovering new sides to her the people who raised her and coming to terms with old differences. Although her experience is singular, anyone who has moved into their own parents’ home as an adult will be able to relate — even those whose fathers actually wear pants regularly.