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Uncle William: the man who was shif'less   By: (1860-1951)

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In "Uncle William: The Man Who Was Shif'less" by Jennette Lee, readers are transported to a simpler time, where the bonds of family and the pursuit of happiness reigned supreme. Set in a quaint New England village, this heartwarming tale follows the fascinating life of Uncle William, a charismatic and enigmatic character whose unconventional nature challenges societal norms.

Lee's vivid storytelling paints a vivid picture of the era, capturing the idyllic landscapes and close-knit community with extraordinary detail. Through her masterful prose, she skillfully weaves together the interconnected lives of the villagers, inviting readers into their homes and hearts. By doing so, she effortlessly evokes a sense of nostalgia, making it almost impossible not to yearn for the simpler times portrayed within the pages.

One of the novel's greatest strengths lies in its portrayal of the complexities of human nature. Uncle William, often seen as shiftless by some, becomes an endearing and relatable figure as the story unfolds. Through his eccentricities and unconventional choices, Lee explores the universal desire for freedom and self-expression, forcing readers to question the limitations society places upon individuals. In this exploration, she offers a powerful reminder of the importance of staying true to oneself, even in the face of adversity.

Moreover, the author's character development is exceptional, ensuring that each individual encountered in the story springs to life with a unique voice and personality. Whether it's the stoic and wise Aunt Laviny, the mischievous and kind-hearted children, or the stubbornly conservative townsfolk, every character feels authentic and genuine, allowing readers to form deep connections with them.

Despite its many merits, "Uncle William: The Man Who Was Shif'less" may not appeal to those seeking fast-paced action or dramatic plot twists. Instead, the novel thrives in its slower, more contemplative pace, mirroring the leisurely rhythm of life in the village. Lee's focus on character development and her exploration of human emotions and relationships make this book a delightful and thought-provoking read for those who appreciate a more introspective narrative.

In conclusion, "Uncle William: The Man Who Was Shif'less" is a captivating and heartfelt tale that transports readers to a bygone era, offering a gentle reminder of the timeless importance of family, individuality, and the pursuit of happiness. Jennette Lee's remarkable storytelling abilities and well-drawn characters make this novel an enjoyable read, destined to leave a lasting impression on its readers.

First Page:



By Jennette Lee


"Let him sing to me Who sees the watching of the stars above the day, Who hears the singing of the sunrise On its way Through all the night.

Let him sing to me Who is the sky voice, the thunder lover, Who hears above the winds' fast flying shrouds The drifted darkness, the heavenly strife, The singing on the sunny sides of all the clouds Of his own life."



"Yes, I'm shif'less. I'm gen'ally considered shif'less," said William Benslow. He spoke in a tone of satisfaction, and hitched his trousers skilfully into place by their one suspender.

His companion shifted his easel a little, squinting across the harbor at the changing light. There was a mysterious green in the water that he failed to find in his color box.

William Benslow watched him patiently. "Kind o' ticklish business, ain't it?" he said.

The artist admitted that it was.

"I reckon I wouldn't ever 'a' done for a painter," said the old man, readjusting his legs. "It's settin' work, and that's good; but you have to keep at it steady like keep a daubin' and a scrapin' and a daubin' and a scrapin', day in and day out. I shouldn't like it... Continue reading book >>

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