Review: The Guncle by Steven Rowley


Release date: May 25, 2021

Publisher: Putnam

Genre: Contemporary Fiction


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.

With the humor and heart we’ve come to expect from bestselling author Steven Rowley, The Guncle is a moving tribute to the power of love, patience, and family in even the most trying of times.


Ok why have I never read a Steven Rowley book before?! This was such a funny, tender read with the most endearing characters, I just freaking adored it.

Despite the premise being sad with Maisie and Grant losing their mother and then immediately after her death their father checks himself into rehab, this was mostly lighthearted. Patrick has the exact type of sarcastic humor that I adore and seeing him put his niece and nephews needs above his own was hilarious, poignant and heartwarming. It was also insightful as it examined grief and loss as well as navigating life as a gay man. I can’t really say enough good things about this one, it was everything for me. Definitely recommended by me, especially if you enjoy character driven comedies with a cast that you won’t forget.

Overall rating: 5/5

Thanks to the publisher for my review copy.

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