The Guncle by Steven Rowley is the official April 2022 pick for the Peanut Blossom Book Club for Recovering Readers.
Being a parent is a tough job but when you’re in the trenches of the work it can be easy to take for granted just how hard it really is.
I think that’s partly why books that shine the light on parenting from the perspective of someone new to the job are extra entertaining to busy moms.
This month’s book popped up time and again as member end of month favorites in the Peanut Blossom Book Club last spring and every time I’d see that happy yellow cover I’d stop in my tracks.
I’m so excited to read it for myself this month as our official April pick.
Peanut Blossom Book Club
This book club pick is one of the awesome books from our eighth year of book club.
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What Is The Guncle About?
“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, overwhelmed.
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 acting 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.”
The Guncle Discussion Questions
I believe the best book club questions to spark a lively discussion in your group help readers make personal connections to the story.
You can read about how to write the best book club questions on your own here, but hopefully these will get you started!
What did you think of this month’s pick? Would you have chosen it on your own?
Did you love the Guncle’s rules?? Which one was your favorite?
Would you add something to his list?
Do you recognize similarities between your own siblings as were presented in this book?
How do you feel about the portrayal of the experience of grief in this book?
Was the lighthearted approach to such a heavy topic effective?
How does your parenting style compare to the Guncle’s? How would you feel about him care taking for your kids for a summer?
Have you ever worn a kaftan? Did this story make you want to try?? (It did for me!)
What’s your summer wardrobe staple?
Where do you think the family’s story goes from here? What happens next for everyone?