The Guncle is one of those books that just makes you smile inside as you are reading. It takes you through a roller coaster of emotions, as real-life does. This book is just plain ole good for the soul!
Patrick is the Guncle which stands for gay uncle. He lived a rather privileged life after a successful stint as an actor. He ends up taking his niece and nephew for the summer after their mother dies and their father enters rehab. This is definitely new territory for him.
As the story progresses, we also see the backstory between Patrick and Sara. They had an out-of-the-ordinary tight friendship, even rooming together at one point. They came to the realization that they needed to move forward with their lives. Patrick finds love and moves on to become an actor. Sara marries Patrick’s brother, has two children, and then faces a losing battle with cancer.
Patrick deals with a double dose of grief. He lost someone close to him several years back and has secluded himself, unable to move on. Now his best friend is gone as well. How can he help his niece and nephew deal with their grief when he doesn’t know how to deal with his own?
Patrick was a delight. He was real and raw, living by his own rules. He dealt with issues as they arose while caring for the kids. This typically involved a good amount of sarcasm that often went over the kids’ heads, but was a treat for the reader. Patrick did what he thought was right and was willing to fight for the kids once he got used to their antics. He was enjoying the Guncle experience!
The characters’ lives were intertwined bringing a lot of substance to the story. Each character dealt with their own problems while helping each other, for the most part. Not only does The Guncle deal with death and grieving, but it touches on relationships, substance abuse, and divorce as well. The overall theme is love, especially the love and support families should have for each other.
The Guncle is a book you should definitely put on your TBR for the summer. Although it deals with tough topics, the exuberance of the children and Patrick’s personality make this a book you don’t want to put down. Grab a copy, a towel, and some sunscreen and head to the beach. Snuggle up in your favorite chair or grab it when you head to bed. It really doesn’t matter where you read it. Just make sure you read it! You won’t be disappointed.