Summary: 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 for 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.
Review: A Full House --But Empty vividly portrays the author's Depression era childhood and its lifelong impact on him. While Munro's childhood was challenging, to say the least, this memoir does not read like a Canadian Angela's Ashes. Rather along with the difficult times the author also shares many lighter moments. For example, Munro describes a haircut that so displeased him that he screamed "bloody murder" and hid under the table until the offending barber left the premises.
Munro aptly expresses his childood assesment of his family's circumstances in the following exchange:
Cecil (childhood friend/housemate) to Munro: "Gus, we are a very poor family. This is a serious Depression. So many people are out of work, because there are no jobs. Everybody is broke and on relief."
Munro: "I still believe we have a great family and a happy life. We go to the movies every week. We have plenty of food on our table. We have gardens, apples, clothing, and shoes."
Munro's memoir does not end, however, with his childhood, but rather continues with his career adventures in the oil and healthcare fields. A seventh grade school dropout, nevertheless, Munro successfully scales the professional ladder due to his intellect and hardy work ethic.
Munro's keen insights into people and predictments make this memoir both thoughtful and entertaining.