In his autobiography, A Full House – But Empty, author Angus Munro shares his life journey that conveys optimistic and warm messages of strength, resolve, determination, and principle. At the age of three, Munro’s mother leaves his father and family, and his father becomes a single parent. The traumatic experience changes Angus’ life. Living in Vancouver, British Columbia in Canada during the Depression, his childhood is a chronicle of traumatic change, sense of isolation, and added responsibilities to his family. At age fifteen, Angus drops out of school and begins his passage to adulthood. His journey takes him through various parts of Canada where he learns about his family and their values. His story is filled with anecdotes and tales of his work experience that includes working in retail, as a busboy, at a carnival, and on farms. Within his stories, readers experience how the places, people, family, jobs, and co-workers shaped Munro’s work ethic and taught him such values as integrity, dignity, accepting responsibility, and kindness.
How his experiences during his youth influence adulthood are highlighted as he draws on his experiences as hindrances and advantages to how he confronts and resolves problems in the work place. Most of his stories come from a lifetime of work experience that included the Oil Industry and Hospital Administration in California and Alaska. From each detailed account, readers will identify with positive messages about obtaining a harmonious and fulfilling life.
What is so remarkable is how the stories are so vividly described and detailed. Munro addresses the importance of education to succeed, but there are skills that textbooks cannot demonstrate. Interacting and respecting all coworkers regardless of their position, listening and acknowledging, a willingness to undertake tasks beneath your position, and interacting with staff and clients, are key elements to a successful and productive work life. His stories are about a journey of human communication and how each person he came in contact with positively influenced his life. He embraced their positive attributes and incorporated them into his own life. Many of his anecdotes are comical, particularly the incident where he sent a Valentine card to a Nun and signed a co-workers name. As the book mostly focuses on his work experiences, I would have liked to have learned more about how he coped and drew strength from such tragic losses as the death of significant family members and his divorces.
Through his stories, Munro shares a lifetime of experience. A fundamental message readers will take away from his stories: It is true that it is better to give than receive, but more importantly, giving without expecting to receive makes life more enjoyable and rewarding. When you do receive, the experience will be more heartfelt and gratifying. The memory will last forever.
Paperback: 268 pages
Publisher: iUniverse, Inc. (September 25, 2007)
Available: Amazon.com and BN.com