Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Book Review: Bless Me, Father, for I Have Kids

The first book that I received from The Catholic Company through their Reviewer Program was Bless Me, Father, for I Have Kids by Susie Lloyd. I chose this book because it's created a buzz in the Catholic blogosphere lately and I wanted something faithful and lighthearted to read while nursing.

I read Lloyd's first book, Please Don't Drink the Holy Water, when it was published several years ago. I remember thinking that she was an admirable woman for raising six daughters and finding the time to write. I also remember thinking she wasn't a very good writer.

Wanting to believe her writing had improved, I dug into Bless Me, Father as soon as it arrived. Alas, it failed to satisfy.

Lloyd tries to share her thoughts and experiences with various aspects of parenting and homeschooling a large, Catholic family in a funny way. Her stories of teens driving, kids telling family secrets, and families attending Mass together are supposed to be humorous. Maybe they are, to people with a different sense of humor than I have. Maybe I'm too critical. But I have to admit, I didn't laugh. I just didn't think the writing was very clever (it's reminiscent of Erma Bombeck but falls way short of her wit). Some of it really bothered me (Lloyd treats drunkenness, smoking, anger, and violence too lightly and makes fun of her husband in the book). But I made myself finish Bless Me, Father so I could give a fair assessment in this review. I've seen Lloyd's approach described as "offbeat" - well, it's too offbeat for me.

If you are looking for sweet, short stories about Catholic life from the perspective of a homeschooling mom-to-many, I HIGHLY recommend Danielle Bean. She is just fabulous, as is her writing (clever, vibrant, and either highly amusing or deeply thoughtful, depending on the article). I loved My Cup of Tea, and I'm pretty sure Mom to Mom is great, too.

1 comment:

Susie said...

Dear Frances,
Well it's okay that you don't like my style of writing. But I do have to make one thing clear to anyone reading your review: my husband and children saw and approved every essay. I would hate for my readers to think I had done my family an injustice. This genre is farce; it is not my diary.