The Guncle Abroad

Putnam. May 2024. 336p. ISBN 9780593540459. $29. F
Maisie, Grant, and GUP, their Gay Uncle Patrick, return in Rowley’s funny, heartfelt sequel to The Guncle. Patrick has remained a presence in Maisie’s and Grant’s lives while his acting career has been going great guns. But a major event has him once again stepping in to help the kids navigate a change. Greg, Maisie and Grant’s father, has decided to remarry after five years of widowhood. The kids are not enthused. Maisie, now 14, is especially upset, and Greg begs Patrick to spend the few weeks before the wedding in Lake Como to help the kids come to terms with the marriage. Patrick, who’s just finished filming a movie in London and also recently broke up with with his boyfriend, once again agrees to take the kids. Maisie and Grant are willing to travel across Europe with GUP—if he helps them convince their dad to cancel the wedding. As they travel, Patrick uses Gary Chapman’s The Five Love Languages to help the kids understand why their dad’s remarriage might make sense; he also realizes that he too might have a lot to learn from his own lessons.
VERDICT This follow-up has a humor and affection for the characters in a story with just the right amount of domestic tension but will still be a balm to readers.
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