Hermit: The Mysterious Life of Jim Whyte
by Jeffrey H. Ryan
paperback, 148 pages
When Jim Whyte settled outside the slate mining town of Monson, Maine, in 1895, people hardly knew what to make of him. Almost 130 years later we still don't. A world traveler who spoke six languages fluently, Whyte came to town with sacks full of money and a fierce desire to keep to himself. It was clear that Whyte was hiding from something -- enough to make the FBI come looking. But even the Feds couldnt imagine how Whyte, who lost every penny he had when WW1 broke out, amassed another fortune before he died. Based on the ture story, Hermit follows one man's quest to discover all he can about Whyte's secret life before it's too late.
"Jeffrey Ryan takes us back to the mid-20th century in the Maine woods with a descriptive force and a gentle nostalgia that realistically evoke both time and place. Hermit will resonate with many readers who have experienced the mystique and beauty of the Maine wilderness."
-- Earle G. Shettleworth, Jr.
Maine State House Historian
"The North Woods are filled with quirky characters and wonderful stories. Jeffrey Ryan's tale of Jim Whyte embodies so much of what makes these characters so appealing -- the mysterious signals in the night, the hundreds of books lining the walls of his hideaway, the game of hide and seek with the law. Ryan has crafted a story that you won't want to put down."
-- Mills Kelly
Professor of History, George Mason University
"Few writers know the backwoods and customs of rural Maine better than Jeffrey Ryan, who brings his deep knowledge of the outdoors to his well-wrought tale and proves to be an adept hand at suspense and pacing."
-- Everett Potter
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