I said this about falconry and nature writing after reading Helen MacDonald’s H is for Hawk. And then again about surfing after reading William Finnegan’s Barbarian Days. Then, naiively, I went into this book thinking I didn’t care much about midwestern Catholicism. Patricia Lockwood, with her preternatural writing ability, humor, command of poetry and sharp, acerbic voice, won me over. I still don’t think I care very much about midwestern Catholicism, but I loved this journey through Lockwood’s upbringing, family, and trying times as a young married adult.

Memoirs (I’ve said this basically every time I’ve reviewed a memoir) succeed or fail on voice. This book has a beautiful, emotional, wise, voice. After reading a few books recently written by poets, I’m considering only reading books by poets from now on. They write. While the rest of us type.