My most recent book finish is The Guncle by Steven Rowley.
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.
One of my favorite authors, Sally Hepworth, had several IG stories raving about this book.
I watched attended a Zoom conversation between Sally and Steven and immediately put The Guncle on my library hold list.
Sally’s enthusiasm was right on point.
I found the book to have just the right touch of humor and heartbreak. If the character of Patrick had just remained “on” the entire time, I would have found him annoying eventually. However, you are given glimpses into how Patrick uses his humor as a shield for his heart and this makes him endearing.
All the characters (even the minor side characters) have something that will tug at your heartstrings.
I made a note that my fist laugh out loud moment happened in less than the first 50 pages and it just continued to happen.
I highly recommend this book.
(I also recommend Steven’s previous release The Editor)
As soon as I finished The Guncle, I began Serena Singh Flips the Script by Sonya Lalli.
Serena Singh is tired of everyone telling her what she should want–and she is ready to prove to her mother, her sister, and the aunties in her community that a woman does not need domestic bliss to have a happy life.
Things are going according to plan for Serena. She’s smart, confident, and just got a kick-ass new job at a top advertising firm in Washington, D.C. Even before her younger sister gets married in a big, traditional wedding, Serena knows her own dreams don’t include marriage or children. But with her mother constantly encouraging her to be more like her sister, Serena can’t understand why her parents refuse to recognize that she and her sister want completely different experiences out of life.
A new friendship with her co-worker, Ainsley, comes as a breath of fresh air, challenging Serena’s long-held beliefs about the importance of self-reliance. She’s been so focused on career success that she’s let all of her hobbies and close friendships fall by the wayside. As Serena reconnects with her family and friends–including her ex-boyfriend–she learns letting people in can make her happier than standing all on her own.
I chose this book as part of my Tuma’s Books and Things May Book of the Month kit.
I am about 40% into this book and I am really enjoying it.
I will keep an eye on Tuma’s Book of the Month as I like the diverse selection as I am trying to expand my reading genres and author choices.
I anticipate that my reading will slow down as today is the last day of school. So I’ll be tasked with keeping the kiddos occupied outside as my husband now works from home as a result of the pandemic.