Breaking Night Nook Edition by Liz Murray
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In the vein of The Glass Castle, Breaking Night is the stunning memoir of a young woman who at age fifteen was living on the streets, and who eventually made it into Harvard. Liz Murray was born to loving but drug-addicted parents in the Bronx. In school she was taunted for her dirty clothing and lice-infested hair, eventually skipping so many classes that she was put into a girls’ home. At age fifteen, Liz found herself on the streets when her family finally unraveled. She learned to scrape by, foraging for food and riding subways all night to have a warm place to sleep. When Liz’s mother died of AIDS, she decided to take control of her own destiny and go back to high school, often completing her assignments in the hallways and subway stations where she slept. Liz squeezed four years of high school into two, while homeless; won a New York Times scholarship; and made it into the Ivy League. Breaking Night is an unforgettable and beautifully written story of one young woman’s indomitable spirit to survive and prevail, against all odds.
Reviews We all have those books that reach out and grab you, that will always stay with you - Liz Murray's story "Breaking Night" was one of those books for me. Liz tells the story of her childhood - born to drug addicted parents, living in utter squalor - she describes things that I, in my middle class Irish Catholic childhood, could never even fathom. The most amazing part to me is that the story is not told in a "poor me" narrative - it's just "this is how was, this is where I ended up, this is when I decided to take control of my life". I cried through the last 40 pages or so - it was just amazing to me how she dealt with what she'd been handed in life, how she truly loved and forgave her parents and what she was able to overcome to live the life she made for herself today. There are many, many things to take away from this book - for me, it was extremely inspiring and I would love to hear Ms. Murray speak one day. This is not a book I will soon forget.
This is such a sad, yet hopeful, story. Imagine growing up with two addicts for parents, never knowing when you'll get food again, having your mom stealing your birthday money for a hit and always worrying that something will happen to them when they're out scoring drugs. And Liz was lucky, she at least had parents who loved her. There were so many things in Breaking Night that got to me. When she was little she tried to do whatever would make them happy. She was the perfect daughter, even supporting their drug habit. Realizing how different you are (almost starving, getting no sleep, not being able to bath for more than two months) and being ostracized in school because of this. Being homeless at the age of 13, while your mom is dying of AIDS. Unlike Glass Castle, this is not a funny, humorous read, but the author is amazing in that she never judges, she just tells it like it was. I am amazed that she could get me to sympathize with her parents, especially her mom. This is an amazing memoir, and made me count my blessings. It also shows that anything is possible if you want it enough. I take my hat of to Liz and her sister Lisa.
The story: Liz Murray never really had a chance in life. Born to a drug-addicted father who was in and out of prison, and an equally dependent mother who was in and out of mental institutions, she seemed destined to become just another tragic statistic. By the age of 15, Liz found herself homeless with nowhere to turn but the tough streets, riding subways all night for a warm place to sleep and foraging through dumpsters for food. But when her mother died of AIDS a year later, Liz's life changed forever. With no education, with no chance at a job or a home, she realised that only the most astonishing of turnarounds could stop her heading all the way down the same path her parents took. And so she set her mind to overcoming what seemed like impossible odds - and in the process, achieved something extraordinary.
I watched the movie on Hallmarks many years ago and it brought me to tears. Then 2 years ago, i watched it again and decided that "I'm going to google about this" and i did. Let me tell you, after finding out that the story was indeed based on a real life events, i search everywhere for this book. I had such a hard time finding this book in my country, where people don't read much on memoirs. after searching up and down, finally the book is mine! yayy me! Well, Liz Murray totally let loose on everything she had experienced before. If i were in her shoes there's no way that i'm going to write a book and have millions of people reading about all the mishaps that had happened to me. But, i'm glad that she did. I enjoyed reading the book, it does made me reflect about my life but that's about it. It doesn't have that 'WOW' factor that makes me want to change my life for the better. It did so while i'm reading but after a while it's just that forgettable. For me, this book is more of a novel rather than a memoir since she talks so much about the details that first happened to her, but the part that i really wanted to see was how she made it to the top. But, i guess it wasn't really stress in the book. Will i recommend this book? Yes! It was inspirational and that you should be grateful for what you have. But, be prepared to read a lengthy descriptions by the author p/s: the fonts were to small and was squeeze into the pages. i guess the publisher just wanted to save their money and TREES!
Story: author is the daughter of two drug-addicted parents in NYC. She watches her mother die of AIDS, and her father ends up in a men's shelter. This kid and her older sister basically have to take care of themselves from the time they are very young. She is homeless for quite a while and bounces from one friend's house to another until she finally motivates herself to get off the streets and into an alternative high school. From there she manages to swing a scholarship to Harvard. Pretty amazing stuff! This book really is about forgiveness. One thing that amazed me about it was how she was able to see things from her parents' perspectives and forgive them for everything they did wrong. Her love for her flawed, misguided parents is very clear. I think that impressed me even more than her almost superhuman ability to work her way through school after missing so many years of it and get the grades required for a scholarship to Harvard. Totally worth reading if you are in need of inspiration.
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