Author: Steven Rowley
Genre: General Fiction
Publisher: G.P. Puntnam’s Son
Publication Date: May 25, 2021
Book Description: From the bestselling author of Lily and the Octopus and The Editor comes a warm and deeply funny novel about a once-famous gay sitcom star whose unexpected family tragedy leaves him with his niece and nephew for the summer.
Patrick, or Gay Uncle Patrick (GUP, for short), has always loved his niece, Maisie, and nephew, Grant. That is, he loves spending time with them when they come out to Palm Springs for weeklong visits, or when he heads home to Connecticut for the holidays. But in terms of caretaking and relating to two children, no matter how adorable, Patrick is honestly a bit out of his league.
So when tragedy strikes and Maisie and Grant lose their mother and Patrick’s brother has a health crisis of his own, Patrick finds himself suddenly taking on the role of primary guardian. Despite having a set of “Guncle Rules” ready to go, Patrick has no idea what to expect, having spent years barely holding on after the loss of his great love, a somewhat-stalled career, and a lifestyle not-so-suited to a six- and a nine-year-old. Quickly realizing that parenting–even if temporary–isn’t solved with treats and jokes, Patrick’s eyes are opened to a new sense of responsibility, and the realization that, sometimes, even being larger than life means you’re unfailingly human.
With the humor and heart we’ve come to expect from bestselling author Steven Rowley, The Guncle is a moving tribute to the power of love, patience, and family in even the most trying of times.
Rating: 4 Stars
Review: Steven Rowley brings us one of the most delightful, comical family stories of the year. Patrick is Gay Uncle Patrick or GUP to his niece Maisie and nephew Grant. When the book opens, Maisie and Grant’s mother has passed away, and Patrick’s brother confides that he needs to go to rehab for pill addiction and he wants him to take the kids for the summer. After much angst, he decides to do this.
Patrick is a former actor, who is semi-retired after the death of his partner Joe and lives in Palm Springs, California. He is not adept to kids and has to adjust quickly. What we get is a heartwarming story with all the charm and humor that you want from a a book like this.
Rowley does includes some deeper themes throughout the story, pill addiction, how we grieve for loss of people that are closest to us. While it can get emotional at time, Rowley handles it perfectly not dwelling to long before moving into the lightness you want from a novel like this.
This is an absolute perfect beach read. Maisie and Grant are absolutely perfect with their GUP. You will smile and laugh a lot and to see the growth of this family is absolutely brilliant. Have fun reading this, Steven Rowley is a gem and I will read any book he writes.
Thank you NetGalley and G.P. Putnam’s Sons for an Advanced Reader’s Copy of this book in exchange for honest review.