Rowley hits the sweet spot between hilarity and heart in this endearing charmer about a famous sitcom star who becomes the reluctant, unconventional guardian of his niece and nephew for a summer ... he doesn’t just flirt with sentimentality, he invites it to move right in ... He also reminds us that love comes – wondrously – in multiple forms. An extravagantly entertaining character who channels actor Nathan Lane, albeit taller and more toned ... as schmaltzy as a Hollywood tearjerker. But it also glistens with those tears. Rowley pulls it off because his protagonist is – as he might put it – such a gay wit. Could a new comedy series be in the offing?
This latest from Rowley explores the relationships between young and old, grief and acceptance, stagnation and growth—all while challenging the expectations of convention ... Under Patrick’s unorthodox tutelage, the children are exposed to an entirely new way of looking at life, while Patrick, through the agency of his niece and nephew, finally comes to grips with his own grief. Influenced by comic dialogue that would make Neil Simon jealous, the novel’s serious undercurrent of loss gives way, in the end, to a warmth that will make readers smile ... A funny, gentle tale of family and friends, and a salve for the wounds they often cause.
A heartwarming, hilarious novel ... Rowley finds humor and poignancy in the snappy narrative ... and deepened by lessons the grief-stricken children learn via Patrick from generations of gay life. Readers will find this delightful and illuminating.
Hollywood star banishes himself to Palm Springs only to be thrust back into the limelight by, of all people, his young 'niblings,' or niece and nephew ... Patrick has for four years marooned himself in the desert, tetchy about his fame, his career, and his unresolved grief over the loss of his partner, Joe, the victim of a drunk driver ... it’s genuinely thrilling to read screenwriter-turned-novelist Rowley’s take on the mechanics of stardom, especially about a star who’s no longer young ... Although some of the plot is predictable (for example, the relationship between Patrick and young actor Emory), there’s true insight here into the psychology of gay men, Hollywood, and parenting. ... A novel with some real depth beneath all its witty froth.