Book Review: The Guncle by Steven Rowley
GUP, or Gay Uncle Patrick, suddenly found himself in care of his niblings (niece & nephew). Their mother died and their father had to check himself to rehab because the care of his then ailing wife got too much to handle that he turned to pain meds. GUP loves his niece and nephew, however, he knows next to nothing about caring for them full time, even if it's only temporary. But he's determined to not let the children have another person they love turn away from them. Through life lessons he's learned as a gay man in Hollywood, he imparts bits of advice meant to help the kids navigate their lives without their mother.
Lord, this book. I've never read anything that made me laugh and cry just as much. It's full of heart and sadness that will squeeze your cold, cold heart until you have no choice but to feel something. This is about a family in need of time and space to regroup, to gather up their broken pieces and put them together in the company of loved ones -- no matter if every single one of them are broken themselves. It's like watching an aftermath of a hurricane and the house is slowly being put together by everyone that lived in it. Especially Patrick, who hasn't healed from the loss of his partner. It's why he's hidden himself from Hollywood. He was successful in his own right, but after the death of his partner, he decided to become a recluse.
I guess you can say, that they all helped each other in their own right. GUP helped the kids mourn the loss of their mother the healthiest way he knew how. And the kids helped Patrick realized that grieving will remain fresh day in and day out if you don't decide to actually take a step towards recovery. This is such a beautiful story about grief, loss, and the healing power of love and kindness. Easily one of my favourite reads this year.