The Guncle

So I’ve been kind of down on contemporary lately (maybe too many prize nominee books in which everyone is some kind of awful or miserable) so I wanted to talk about one I read a couple weeks ago that has stayed with me.

That somehow manages to be touchingly sad and also wildly hopeful and just plain entertaining.

Patrick (or GUP as the kids refer to him meaning Gay Uncle Patrick) loves his niece and nephew very much. For limited time periods. But when the kids mother (and his best friend) passes and the father needs to go to rehab Patrick is stuck with them all summer long in his very not child friendly Palm Springs life.

This book worked on several levels for me because it’s about childhood a bit of a coming of age for all the characters, about family, friendship and strangely enough a book about grief and mourning.

Not only is Patrick figuring out how to help two kids mourn one of the most important people in their lives he’s trying to understand how to mourn her as well and whether his grief is as important as there’s. But also Patrick’s life had stalled after the death of his long-term significant other whose family wouldn’t let him mourn at all or even acknowledge his presence in their sons life.

And it just works. The characters are so delightful and so human you care about them. Plus this author has probably been to Palm Springs in the summer. He understands the literal crushing destroying heat of the days and the semi-relief of the nights. So that worked for me as well. Plus Patrick is a former actor so we get some -slight but there- behind the scenes Hollywood stuff.

I mean this had everything I could want 🙂

I’d say it’s a perfect beach/poolside read but along with the funny bits there’s some moments that will make you, at least tear up. So you know… keep the sunglasses on!

But otherwise it’s a very moving entertaining read that was overall a lot of fun.

Recommend: Yes.

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