Those who search for reckless extremes are found in every sphere of human experience. The spirit of religious fundamentalism, with its quest for a single, purifying flame, can be found in the staunchest atheist – and in the addict, the delinquent, the workaholic and dogmatists of all flavours. These memoirs by the daughters of priests both illustrate this in entirely different ways.
As Rebecca Stott’s moving reflection on her childhood in an offshoot of the Plymouth Brethren suggests, her father was a man of appetites that could only be met by extremes. Born into the third generation of a family of Exclusive Brethren, he became a preacher. In the 1970s, after the