I would compare reading The Guncle to the experience of eating a subtly hot pepper. At first you think it is no big deal and then, suddenly, you find yourself gripped by the intensity of it. I really believed that this story would be cute, funny and charming, which it was, but it also had a streak of poignancy that I was not expecting. My tears were as unexpected as snow in July but I will admit, my emotions were as a result of how much I loved the characters in Steven Rowley‘s book.
Patrick O’Hara’s best friend from college, Sara, has recently died after a long run with cancer. Her husband Greg, who happens to be Patrick’s brother, has asked Patrick to take his grieving children, Maisie and Grant, for the summer while Greg deals with a health crisis of his own. A former TV star and single gay man, Patrick’s life and home in Palm Springs is definitely not the place to bring 2 young children who have just lost their mother.
Watching the three of them find their way in their new reality is funny and oddly, life-affirming as we see how resilient they all are. Truly, a lovely book to read.
— Nancy C.