Kendra's Reviews > Breaking Night: A Memoir of Forgiveness, Survival, and My Journey from Homeless to Harvard

Breaking Night by Liz Murray
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Sep 09, 2011

it was amazing

This memoir was really inspiring. The first part was really hard for me to read. I almost stopped because Liz's awful childhood really depressed me. It made me really grateful for my own upbringing and parents who did not have a drug problem or other addiction. She grew up with drug-addicted, poverty-stricken parents who weren't able to properly take care of her and her sister. Liz rarely went to school because she was up all night worrying about her parents and felt like such an outcast when she did go. At age 15 she was homeless and living on the streets. When Liz was 17, her mom died of AIDS and she felt motivated to change her situation. She finished four years of high school in two years and ended up getting a New York Times scholarship and going to Harvard and graduating.

I was impressed with Liz's awesome attitude. Instead of being angry about her parents neglect, she accepted it was because of the drugs and easily forgave them. She carried around her mom's NA coin that stated, "God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference..." She couldn't change her parents, but she could forgive and love them. What a great motto for everyone to go by. She also talked about how she saw herself through others' eyes. She was used to adults seeing her as a truant or failure so that's how she saw herself. One teacher saw her as a victim so she saw herself as that and used it as an excuse to not try in school. When she started going to the Humanities Prep school, the teachers saw her as a capable person so she knew she was capable and ended up accomplishing so much.
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