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My View from the House by the Sea: A Life Transformed by Samoa and the Peace Corps

My View from the House by the Sea: A Life Transformed by Samoa and the Peace Corps

Current price: $15.99
Publication Date: March 26th, 2022
White Hawk Press
Usually Ships in 1 to 5 Days


This true story, set in a small Samoan village at the turn of the twenty-first century, is told lovingly by a former Peace Corps volunteer and will take you there with its vivid imagery and emotional insight. As her poignant memoir unfolds, the author finds herself not only adapting to unfamiliar customs and foods, but also to the post-retirement phase of her life. Amongst her tales of life in Samoa-harrowing bus rides, challenging projects, rewarding relationships, and the joys of living by the sea-she reflects on how the experience changed her and continues to be a vital part of her life today.

"I loved this book. I didn't expect the ending, which is a testament to the author's writing. The book is about a Peace Corps posting in Samoa but it's so much more. It's a story of a life transition: full of searching, expectations, discovery, love, tragedy, resolution. The vividness of the Samoan imagery is awesome. Yet it was the personal journey that captivated me and the creative way the author weaved her journal into the story. I didn't expect the emotion that the book brought. I'm so glad I discovered it." -Richard Pennington, Colonel, USAF, Ret., speaker, author

"My View from the House by the Sea will delight anyone who has ever stepped outside their own culture in a quest for personal growth and insight-or who's dreamed of doing that. Barr's intimate memoir is a great read filled with beautiful writing, fascinating cross-cultural insights, wry humor, and vividly rendered scenes that will transport readers to the remote Samoan village of Poutasi on the lovely island of Upolu." -Tom Peek, author of the award-winning Hawaiʻi novel Daughters of Fire

"If you are a world traveler and citizen of the world, all too often our visits only touch the surface of the places we venture. Barr's account of her time in the Peace Corps in Samoa takes you there to feel every ounce of confusion, cry of triumphant joy and tears of loneliness. Faʻafetai (thank you) for teaching us the FaʻaSāmoa (the Samoan way)." -Kimberly Lord Stewart, international travel and food writer, global resident, author

"This insight into rural Samoan life through a Peace Corps volunteer provides a unique perspective on culture, family dynamics and life in a village. Barr's perception of Samoa offers a rare view of the interactions with Samoans within the comforts of their homes and their village. I applaud Donna's depiction of our people and the depth of her understanding of the FaʻaSāmoa." -Lagipoiva Cherelle Jackson, journalist, communications specialist, author of Staying Afloat in Paradise

"Donna's frank, deeply personal and poignant memoir captures the wonder, terror and ultimately rewarding experience of being a Peace Corps Volunteer (PCV), the fascinating similarities and differences of American and Samoan cultures, and the deep bonds of affection that grow when people of different countries and cultures work and live together closely in a mutually respectful manner. Of the 12 countries where I have worked with international conservation and development agencies, Samoa is at the top of the places I hold dearest in my heart. The book reignited fond memories of Samoa, reminded me why I have returned twice on visits, and of my aspirations to return again and see old friends. I hope Donna's book encourages people to take the plunge into similar life-enhancing decisions that involve intense and deep dives into other countries and cultures-but as the former Peace Corps Samoa Country Director, if you decide to become a PCV don't drive a car without permission (Donna ?)." -Dale Withington, former Peace Corps Samoa Country Director