The Blue House: An Elder’s Lifelong Search for Meaning and Purpose

HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW

Book: The Blue House: An Elder’s Lifelong Search for Meaning and Purpose

Author: Myrna Denham Porter, with Jacob Shefa

Publisher: Independently published, 2022

ISBN-13: 979-8785915688

ISBN-10: 8785915688

Language level: 

(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing and/or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing and/or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)

Recommended reading level: Older teens and adults

Rating: **** 4 stars

(5 stars=EXCELLENT; 4 stars=GOOD; 3 stars=FAIR; 2 stars=POOR; 1 star=VERY POOR; no stars=NOT RECOMMENDED)

Category: Biography

Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker

Disclosure:  Many publishers, literary agents, and/or authors provide free copies of their books in exchange for an honest review without requiring a positive opinion.  Any books donated to Home School Book Review for review purposes are in turn donated.  No other compensation has been received for the reviews posted on Home School Book Review.

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Website: https://homeschoolbookreviewblog.wordpress.com

     Porter, Myrna Denham, with Shefa, Jacob.  The Blue House: An Elder’s Lifelong Search for Meaning and Purpose (Independently published in 2022).   This is a memoir of a woman who was born in 1940 into a family of seventeen children in a remote area of Saskatchewan, Canada, and grew up at the edge of the Canadian Prairies. It was an area where conditions were harsh, aspirations were low, and few attended high school. Inspired by her mother to further her education, Myrna left home at the age of fourteen to work as a nanny while attending high school. At the age of seventeen, she emigrated to the United States where she finished high school in Chicago, IL. After a successful career in the early sixties as a flight attendant, she married, raised two children, and obtained her bachelor’s and master’s degrees.

     When Myrna began her memoirs several years ago, her intention was to leave a legacy of strong values and a guide for “a life worth living” for her grandchildren as well as future generations. But as Myrna wrote, she began to realize that others might benefit from her story.  Myrna believes that “no woman is an island,” and she attributes her “life worth living” attitude to her combined parents’ Christian values as well as the other mentors along the way.  Commitment, persistence, hard work, love, and forgiveness, though harshly delivered by her father and lovingly delivered by her mother, were all part of Myrna’s early childhood.  Through her career and volunteer work, Myrna has made a difference in the lives of others. She believes that through these activities a sense of contentment and peace can be obtained.

     The book is not for young children.  A few vulgar terms are found in quotations of things that Myrna’s husband said to her in anger.  Otherwise, this book is very well written. Myrna’s love and admiration for her mother gave her strength and courage to face life’s challenges as did her religious values.  Both Myrna and her husband faced  cancer diagnoses.  He subsequently died. The Blue House is a fascinating book, revealing the introspective process which the author experiences as she examines her feelings and responses to events during her lifetime. It is a story interwoven with moral lessons, such as lives beginning in hardship can end with success, and meaning and purpose in life can be found by persevering one’s challenges.

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