Grandfather's Uncle by Philip McQuillan (Review)

Growing up during the Great Depression, Philip had to contend with scarcity, hand-me-downs and a dearth of education options. His older brothers and sisters had all been “guided” into a convent or the priesthood. So how did Philip become a stalwart family man and neighborhood icon? Simply…he met Jean!

Philip had a passion for cooking, quoting Shakespeare and standing on his head. He could say stuff like “anything you can do I can do better” and yet remain a humble man. He had to be humble as Jean could be a hard taskmaster. He once said that his existence under her driving force was “survival of the fittest.” Not one to complain, normally he was willing to be at Jean’s beck and call.

The story begins with a glimpse of his pre-Depression origins, then fast-forwards almost forty years to his colorful home life, favorite hobbies and the mini-obsessions that made him such a memorable character. Philip’s little recipes, his night job as a radio announcer, his board game “crimes” and his love for horse racing, golf and gardening all combine to paint the richly detailed portrait of a man we cannot help but grow to love.

Philip Jude McQuillan was born in 1954 in Michigan. He spent his early school years in Philadelphia, PA and Vineland, NJ. After a brief career in commercial shipping, he moved to Costa Rica and spent 20 years there raising a family, teaching English and Spanish in his free time. In 2001, he returned to the US with his second family, and eventually moved back to his hometown to spend time with his father in his waning years.

A first-time author, Philip draws inspiration from his father Philip Louis McQuillan.

He encourages everyone to write about someone they knew and loved. Having passed away, their stories are sacred memories. Please do not let them be forgotten. Whether you decide to author a book of your own, or choose to add a story to this book, your gain is the same- you will enrich your life and the lives of your children.

I would love to hear your story! You can reach me at or on Facebook at Phil McQuillan.

My Review:

Grandfather’s Uncle is a wonderful book written in a Reader’s Digest style. We all love hearing the stories of the generations before us and Phil McQuillan has taken the stories that have filled his life and compiled them into a book that is a heart-warming read and offers the reader an opportunity to see who McQuillan’s father was and how entertaining he could be. His father loved Shakespeare and words and this was truly a part of the story that I loved. I love words and I was entertained by the numerous quotes and words. His father was a man who not only loved the English language, but used it to its fullest. I also liked how the author used a bold font to set these apart from the other words.

McQuillan has worked hard to ensure that the memories of those who knew his father and those who loved him most are not forgotten. It is a wonderful read and such a treasure to leave behind for the generations who will only know the man through the stories handed down by each generation.

I am giving GRANDFATHER’S UNCLE five stars.

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.


Purchase Grandfather’s Uncle in these formats: Kindle



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