What to Wear to See the Pope

What to Wear to See the Pope

2.94 (38 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

This moving and funny portrait of quandaries of faith and fragile family connections brings to life a high-strung matriarch's many obsessions, from proper pope-viewing attire to Saint Theresa's eyebrows. A conflicted Catholic and amateur linguist, Ursula Codwell has a passion for saints and semantics that is surpassed only by the affection she feels for her husband, her children, and her precious bulldog. Raised in what she refers to as the "fraught and schizoid tradition of Belgian Catholicism," Ursula suffers from neuroses that threaten to overwhelm her children and her ostensibly tolerant Unitarian husband. Her indecisiveness and attention to detail lead her to become fixated on matters such as reclaiming her surgically removed tissue from the lab or deciding what to wear to see the pope when he visits her hometown in New York's Hudson Valley. In ten interconnected stories-all narrated by Ursula- What to Wear to See the Pope tells the highly entertaining story of a strained but loving family.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 210 pages
  • 134.6 x 200.7 x 22.9mm | 136.08g
  • United States
  • English
  • Illustrations, black and white
  • 0156031485
  • 9780156031486

Flap copy

From proper pope-viewing attire to the definition of the word "apocryphal," the obsessions of Ursula Codwell--conflicted Catholic and amateur linguist--come to life in this moving and funny look at the quandaries of faith and fragile family connections.
Ursula Codwell's passion for saints and semantics is surpassed only by the affection she feels for her husband, her children, and her precious bulldog, Saint Joan. But her indecisiveness and attention to detail lead her to become fixated on matters such as what to wear to see the Pope when he comes to her hometown in New York's Hudson Valley or reclaiming her surgically removed teratomas from the pathology lab, threatening to overwhelm her children, her ostensibly tolerant Unitarian husband, and even Ursula herself.
In ten interconnected stories-all narrated by Ursula-What to Wear to See the Pope tells the highly entertaining story of a strained but loving family and explores the type of day-to-day obsessions that drive us all.
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Back cover copy

"A delightful romp through one woman's life . . . Anyone who loves to look up words in a dictionary, play games at the dinner table, and find humor in even the darker corners of life should read this book."--The Charlotte Observer
A conflicted Catholic and amateur linguist, Ursula Codwell has a passion for saints and semantics that is surpassed only by the affection she feels for her husband, her children, and her precious bulldog. Her indecisiveness and attention to detail lead her to become fixated on matters such as reclaiming her surgically removed tissue from the lab or deciding what to wear to see the pope when he visits her hometown in New York's Hudson Valley. In ten interconnected stories--all narrated by Ursula--What to Wear to See the Pope tells the highly entertaining story of a strained but loving family.
"Lehner gives Ursula an original voice, captivating, convincing . . . as she veers from tangent to tangent, from saints to salads, from hell to a hell-bent destructive kitchen knife."--The Boston Globe
"Thoroughly enjoyable . . . A full portrait of an intelligent woman . . . who goes through some trying situations (much more serious than dressing for the pope) and always emerges with her spirit intact."--St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Christine Lehner's stories have been published in North American Review, Image, and Southwest Review. She lives in Hastings-on-Hudson, New York.
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Review quote

PRAISE FOR WHAT TO WEAR TO SEE THE POPE "Lehner gives Ursula an original voice, captivating, convincing . . . as she veers from tangent to tangent, from saints to salads, from hell to a hell-bent destructive kitchen knife."-THE BOSTON GLOBE "Perhaps the most haunting, idiosyncratic, gleefully subversive, and satisfying story collection I've read since Isak Dinesen's Seven Gothic Tales."- RICHARD RUSSO, author of EMPIRE FALLS
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Rating details

38 ratings
2.94 out of 5 stars
5 3% (1)
4 24% (9)
3 45% (17)
2 24% (9)
1 5% (2)
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