Monday, July 6, 2009

A Full House-But Empty

Welcome to Pump Up Your Book Promotion's
Virtual Book Tour for Angus Munro

About the Book:
Filled with anecdotes, lessons learned, and an inspirational message for everyone who believes that hard work breeds success, this moving autobiography shares the remarkable story of Angus Munro.

Munro is just three when he suffers from appendicitis and spends several weeks in a Vancouver hospital as his family struggles to survive the Great Depression. After finally arriving home, Munro asks his sister, "Where is Mummy?" and is promptly told his mother doesn't live there anymore. It is this traumatic event that changes the course of Munro's life forever. His father is suddenly a single parent while simultaneously turning into Munro's mentor and hero. He teaches Munro the motto, "Always do the right thing," while raising his children in an environment that is at the very least hectic, and more often completely chaotic.

Through a potpourri of chronological and heartfelt tales, Munro reveals how he learned to view incidents in life in terms of responsibility, recognition, personal conduct, and consideration of others. Despite dropping out of school at a young age, Munro perseveres, eventually attaining professional success

Munro's memoir is a wonderful tribute to his father's legacy and the greatest lesson of all - whatever you do, follow through.

At the age of three, I suffered from appendicitis and spent seven weeks in the Vancouver General Hospital. Little did I know or understand at the time that my mother and father were seriously struggling with their relationship, and that the future of our family life was hanging in the balance.

Upon my arrival home from the hospital, I was immediately put into my bed, which was a large crib that had been placed in the living room. As soon as I settled in, I asked my six-year-old sister Laura, “Where is mummy?”

“She doesn’t live here anymore,” she stated flatly.

Her words shocked me. I started thrashing around and screaming hysterically, “Mummy, Mummy!” My father rushed into the room to rescue me and to pacify me.

“It’s okay. Everything is going to be okay. We’re here with you now.” I continued to cry hysterically. I felt dejected. Why did I seem to be the only one upset with this tragic news? I did not comprehend that my mother had been gone from home seven weeks. This was old news to Laura, but fresh news to me.

Fortunately, to cover my mother’s departure from our home, we were blessed with two wonderful housekeepers who tried to pick up the pieces. They had been provided at no cost to us by the Provincial Social Services. One or the other came daily during the week to take care of our needs. They were so kind and motherly that being with them helped our days to flow freely. My father said on many occasions that they spent more time playing and taking care of us individually than they did fulfilling household chores. He frankly preferred it that way. He said he would return home daily to three happy smiling faces and a somewhat disheveled apartment. Dishevelment was of no importance to him.

One day, my sister Laura and I looked in the window of a bakeshop that was located half a block from our apartment. In the center of the display window was a beautiful white cake with a maraschino cherry right in the middle on top. I was five and knew nothing about the Depression and how poor we were. When we returned home, I told my father about the beautiful cake and wondered if he would buy it for us

My Review: 4 stars
When I began reading A Full House-But Empty, I heard my grandpa's voice. The anecdotes, that are in this book reminded me of when my grandpa would tell stories of when he was growing up.

Angus Munro memoir was very interesting, thought-provoking and entertaining. My favorite part of the book was when Mr. Munro wrote about when he was growing up in the depression. Even though his family was short money, they found ways to get their needs meet. Mr. Munro and his friend Cecil had many adventures together that were very nostalgic. What they did growing up, children do not do today.

When I was reading the second part of the book, which focuses mainly on his business life, I was thinking that people who are in business especially customer service should read this book. Because Mr. Munro talks about how to treat people both co-workers and patients in a positive way and the rewards one will get because they treat people nicely. Mr. Munro does not ignore employees who do not do their job, he talks to them openly and honestly about what they had to do to become a more consciousness employee. Some people were thankful in that moment, others over time and then they would come back to tell Mr. Munro thanks. Again the rewards of being honest.

There were times when I was reading an anecdote, that I wanted more. For example, when Mr. Munro was writing about Bob and how Bob was asking all of the questions about how Mr. Munro does things at work. Mr. Munro ends the passage with his avocation was piloting private smaller planes. I want to know more and I wanted to know how did Mr. Munro know this.

This memoir is about hope and how one does not have to deal with the cards they are dealt. That with hard work and perseverance one can overcome many things. There are many lessons in this book and Mr. Munro dose a recap as to what one learns from certain passages.

This autobiography is not your traditional autobiography in that it is about a famous person. This book is about an ordinary man who has done ordinary things and what we can learn from his life experiences and maybe if we look at our life we might have stories and lessons to learn as well.

About the Author:

Angus Munro has roots that run deep. His farming ancestors came from Scotland in 1830 and his relatives still reside on the same farmlands in Southern Ontario, Canada. His grandfather left Ontario and took his family to Saskatchewan in 1905 and became a prosperous wheat farmer. When Angus' father married, the grandfather leased other farmlands to get his son established. Angus' father lost the total proceeds of his first wheat crop in a wild poker game at the local grain elevator. The grandfather was none too happy and decided to relocate to Vancouver, B.C.

The Depression deepened and sadly Angus' grandfather passed away - leaving his entire estate to his second son. Angus' father traveled to see his brother to seek financial assistance and received nothing. He returned to Vancouver unexpectedly one evening and found his wife in bed with someone else. Thus, his father became a single parent to three children - Laura 6, Angus 3, and Marjorie and infant. The following day, Angus became very ill with appendicitis and spent seven weeks in the Vancouver General Hospital. The author vividly covers his early childhood years and living with another family - similar circumstances, a father with five children, coping with the Depression and, thereafter, addressing their dual basic family needs.

Angus' new memoir, A Full House - But Empty, is the gripping story of young Angus' life growing up in the Depression years based on the positive lessons he had learned from his father during their somewhat traumatic and hectic years together.

On a side note please don't ask me who is the better storyteller my grandpa or Mr. Munro because it would be a disservice to both as they both are great storytellers.

Happy Reading

No comments: