The Guncle by Steven Rowley

Have you ever read a book that made you both laugh and cry? The Guncle by Steven Rowley was the lightest, yet the most heartrending, book that I have read this year. Rowley’s storytelling had me yearning for happiness and serenity for all the characters, while tearing up at the difficulties they were going through.

Patrick is famous. Well he used to be anyway. A once-famous gay sitcom star with a desire to hide away from the world, Patrick moved away from the hustle of the world to Palm Springs where he can relax in his pool away from all the people who insist on bothering him. When an unexpected family tragedy has him flying back to Connecticut on short notice, Patrick finds his peace shattered.

Patrick isn’t a bad uncle. He’s always loved his niece, Maisie, and his nephew, Grant. He loves them in short doses: weeklong visits when they come to see him or when he goes back for the holidays. The important part is he gets to go home after he’s done. After all, he’s GUP, Gay Uncle Patrick. The idea of relating to children and caring for them overwhelms him.

Back home in Connecticut after Masie and Grant have lost their mother and after Patrick’s brother(the children’s father) has a crisis of his own, Patrick is at a loss. Greg wants him to become the children’s primary guardian and take them back to California with him. For 90 days, Patrick will be the sole caretaker for Maisie and Grant, a nine- and a six-year-old respectively. He is overwhelmed and has no idea what to expect. Realizing that Maisie and Grant need the escape as much as he does, Patrick brings them back to California with him.

Armed with a set of Guncle Rules, Patrick quickly realizes he has no idea what he’s doing. The kids are overwhelming, loud, and dealing with tough emotions while being around Patrick who they don’t know very well. Helping them deal with their emotions forces Patrick to deal with his own: he’s barely holding it together years after his love died, his career has stalled, and his lifestyle is not exactly suited to children. Patrick finds himself responsible for two young children and that responsibility cannot be waved off by joking or spoiling the kids with treats. He must find a balance between his old life and his new. What he discovers surprises them all.

This book is also available in the following formats:

Virtual Book Club – ‘The Wife Stalker’ on August 5th

Virtual Book Club will be discussing The Wife Stalker by Liv Constantine on Wednesday, August 5th at 2pm. Information about how to join is listed below. We are using GoTo Meeting which will allow patrons to video chat about the book!

Curious what The Wife Stalker by Liv Constantine is about? Check out the following description provided by the publisher:

The bestselling author of The Last Mrs. Parrish returns with a psychological thriller, filled with chilling serpentine twists, about a woman fighting to hold onto the only family she’s ever loved—and how far she’ll go to preserve it. Named one of the most anticipated thrillers of the year by Goodreads, Bustle, SheReads, and Library Journal Breezing into the tony seaside paradise of Westport, Connecticut, gorgeous thirtysomething Piper Reynard sets down roots, opening a rehab and wellness space and joining a local yacht club. When she meets Leo Drakos, a handsome, successful lawyer, the wedding ring on his finger is the only thing she doesn’t like about him. Yet as Piper well knows, no marriage is permanent. Meanwhile, Joanna has been waiting patiently for Leo, the charismatic man she fell in love with all those years ago, to re-emerge from the severe depression that has engulfed him. Though she’s thankful when Leo returns to his charming, energetic self, paying attention again to Evie and Stelli, the children they both love beyond measure, Joanna is shocked to discover that it’s not her loving support that’s sparked his renewed happiness—it’s something else. Piper. Leo has fallen head over heels for the flaky, New Age-y newcomer, and unrepentant and resolute, he’s more than willing to leave Joanna behind, along with everything they’ve built. Of course, he assures her, she can still see the children. Joanna is devastated—and determined to find something, anything, to use against this woman who has stolen her life and her true love. As she digs deeper into Piper’s past, Joanna begins to unearth disturbing secrets . . . but when she confides to her therapist that she fears for the lives of her ex-husband and children, her concerns are dismissed as paranoia. Can she find the proof she needs in time to save them?

This book is also available in the following formats:

Virtual Book Club
Wed, Aug 5, 2020 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM (CDT)

Please join my meeting from your computer, tablet or smartphone.
https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/540763365

You can also dial in using your phone.
United States: +1 (646) 749-3112

Access Code: 540-763-365

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Mrs. Everything by Jennifer Weiner

Recently I’ve been reading books about sisters and how their relationships change over many years. Jennifer Weiner is one of my go-to authors for when I ‘m looking for books about sisters. Her newest book, Mrs. Everything, takes the idea of nature vs nurture and expands upon this to how the world changes us or if we change irrelevant of our surroundings.

Mrs. Everything  by Jennifer Weiner discusses the lives of two sisters, Jo and Bethie Kaufman. Jo and Bethie grew up in 1950s Detroit in a house with both parents. Their perfect house and family has very defined roles for everyone living in it. While the two girls may seem to fall into cookie-cutter expected roles, to limit them to those expectations is to further restrain their future possibilities. Jo is a tomboy who loves books and chooses to rebel in ways that make their mother increasingly worried. Bethie is a pretty, beautiful, and feminine good girl, the utter opposite of Jo. She wants to live a traditional life, like their mother, and takes pleasure in the power that her beauty gives her over others. The girls couldn’t be more opposite, but they both have ideas of what they want to do with their lives. Their parents treat both girls differently which results in them building barriers between the two and not having as deep relationships as they could have had.

Once they leave home and start trying to figure out what they want out of life, Bethie and Jo begin to change. This book has strong themes revolving around abandonments, rape, betrayal, same sex marriage, sisterhood, emotions, history, heartbreak, drama. It’s hard to water this book down into one short blurb, since it covers such a long period of time navigating changes throughout both sisters’ lives (and the people they choose to surround themselves with). This book may seem like it has too much going on at once, but stepping back and realizing that multiple themes happen throughout regular lives anyway, this book becomes easier to read. Mrs. Everything is a feminist manifesto, a family saga, a piece of women’s fiction full of drama and woman power as these two sisters struggle to be everything to everyone as they try to figure out who they are to themselves on the inside.


This book is also available in the following formats: