This crazy quilt of homespun musings from Episcopal priest Billow is a raucous and enjoyable ride that mixes kernels of wisdom with funny, insightful anecdotes from Billow’s long life of preaching. Nicknamed Reverend Fun, Billow was the assistant director at St. Columba’s Episcopal Church in Washington, D.C., which was attended by George H.W. Bush, who wrote the book’s foreword. For more than three decades, Billow rubbed shoulders with prominent members of D.C. society, but the majority of his reminiscences are about everyday people—friends, family, coworkers, and students who have impacted his life. Though written with a distinctly humorous tone, the book takes on heavy topics—Billow’s personal battle with depression, and his father’s alcoholism, among them. It also contains lighthearted tales of, for instance, making pizza with a church youth group and the time Billow helped sneak a former congregant’s ashes into Mt. Vernon (in a quilted Chanel bag) for a clandestine memorial service. Billow’s haphazard collection of quips, homilies, blurry family photos, advice, and accounts of personal experiences reads more like a private, unedited journal than a cohesive memoir, but his infectious sense of humor and thoughtful insights shine through. This heartwarming book will charm readers with its unpolished whimsy.
This heartwarming book will charm readers with its unpolished whimsy.