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Lessons in love

Cover of The Guncle Abroad
A review of The Guncle Abroad by Steven Rowley

I was late to The Guncle party and truthfully only got it read because I needed to read this sequel. So here I am having read both in quick succession which had pros and cons as a reading experience. Before I get into those pros and cons, let me set the scene.

It’s a few years since the events of book one and Patrick is just concluding a movie shoot in London when he receives an invitation to a wedding. Getting married is his brother Greg. Greg’s whirlwind romance with a wealthy Italian woman has made him very happy. Not so happy are his kids, Maisie and Grant, who are struggling with the idea of their father remarrying. Greg begs Patrick to intervene with the kids and help them with the adjustment. Thus begins a trip from London to Lake Como with stops in France and Austria included. Along the way Gup works to help the tweens adjust to the change in their lives.

Pro one – I got to spend a lot of time with Patrick (GUP), Maisie and Grant and didn’t have to wrack my brain trying to remember what had happened in the earlier book.
Pro two – All the more fabulousness as Patrick and company are now traveling across Europe with a destination wedding at Lake Como for a landing place.
Pro three – Lots of bittersweet, uplifting conversations about grief and love and change.

Now for the con of this dual reading experience. And really it came down to just one. Where the The Guncle was a tight, perfectly paced story, The Guncle Abroad sags just a bit in the middle, mostly because it’s less contained (both physically and plot-wise).  It didn’t lessen my enjoyment of this lovely sequel, but I think the reading experience will feel a bit fresher for readers who have had a bit of a break between the books.

Apr 30, 2024