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 Another life wasted on the brutal streets of New York 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 for ever 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.Told with astounding sincerity, Breaking Night is the breathtaking and inspirational story of how a young women, born into a world without hope, used every ounce of strength and determination to steer herself towards a brighter future Beautifully written, it is a poignant, evocative and stirring portrait of struggle, desperation, forgiveness and survival....
|Publisher||:||Arrow 15 September 2011|
|Number of Pages||:||432 Seiten|
|File Size||:||987 KB|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
Breaking Night Reviews
I must say that I watched the movie version 'From homeless to Harvard' first - something I categorically dislike, because you already know the end when reading the book afterwards. Nevertheless I bought the book and it just amazed me.My own summery:The book tells the story of Liz, born and living with her older sister and dug-addicted parents in a world she just adapts to. That world consists of waiting for the welfare check, caring for the parents while they're high, bad-tempered and longing for the next trip and the necessary school visits for not being taken by the child protective services. Liz just excepts her fate until the family splits up because Liz's mother wants to get out of drugs and cannot while being with her husband. Liz is torn between her parents. After a while, when she had made a very bad experience at a child's home and the child protective services is about to take her, she decides to become homeless, sleeping with friends and shoplifting for food, accompanied by her best friend. She begins a relationship with a cute and somehow rich and mysterious guy, who - after a while - not only cheats on her but also get violent so she leaves him. Loosing her mother to AIDS she's crushed down to the lowest limit. But like a phoenix she arises by making up her mind to work hard to do something with her life. She starts to attend a special school and by working hard and getting a lot help from teachers and friends she graduates - while still being basically homeless. Then she applies for a scholarship, sending in her story as the required essay.The book doesn't skip on the hard parts, that's what made it pretty real to me. It doesn't describe everything in detail but you definitely get the picture of the drug-taking, her first sex experience and the monthly problems arising when becoming a women, just as an example. I could visualize her before my eyes and I just admired her strong will to move on, from day to day most of the time. The happy end makes it seem kind of a fairy tale where in the end everything gets wondrously okay. It makes the world seem fair and gives hope when everything looks so dark.I'm glad, I read the book although having watched the movie. While in the movie Liz seems like a innocent girl getting in the end her reward for being brave and strong, the book makes her more realistic by showing her faults, too. Also, there are (like always) complete parts (like Liz' boy-friend) that are not even mentioned in the movie.I can definitely recommend this book! The scenery might pull you down but the end will exhilarates you.
I read "Hillbilly Elegy" a few months ago after seeing such great reviews and because I grew up down the road from the author. However, I found that book to be more braggadocio and less of a tale of abuse or extreme poverty. I humbly submit that anyone who enjoyed that book to take time and read "Breaking Night". I rarely if ever cry during a book but did so a few times while reading Murray's memoir. This young woman survived terrible poverty, neglect, and teenage homelessness only to make it through Harvard. She never whines or blames anyone including her drug addicted parents who kept her out of school to " break the night" with them. This is a wonderful story of someone tirelessly beating every possible odd and coming out on top. One of the best memoirs I have ever had the privilege of reading.
Congratulations, and God bless you Liz Murray for surviving. Beyond surviving. For contributing to our society, which is suffering from many social ills due to drug and alcohol abuse, coupled with psychiatric issues.What saddened me more than reading this Memoir, were the negative comments. I do believe, without a shadow of a doubt, Ms Murray had, and still has, strong emotions regarding her life. She chose to try to write an inspirational book. Depressing? Yes, if you can't handle the reality of many children. I think reading the back cover would give a clue on the contents. When surrounded in such dysfunction, one would be emotionally delayed. Emotions can crop up many years after the actual situation. Her life was more of a daily battle zone. Survival mode does not give one much time to analyze feelings. Her forgiveness of her parent's are amazing, though those thoughts may change as she ages, and perspective sets in. Eating chapstick is hardly conducive to proper nutrition, or stimulating the brain cells. Neither is being born crack addicted. I suppose the 80's were different, though I cannot fathom why Social Services did not remove her from the hospital. I commend those who actually did help and guide her.It appears many simply ignored the situation. No family members involved? The breakdown of our society. I would like to see her write a second book. An update, if you will. More on Lisa. More on her emotions, even if it offends those who were depressed by the contents. No judgements from me. None. God has truly walked with these two sisters. May they continue on a path of peace. Thank you for writing this Liz.
Much like "The Glass House" (Jeannette Walls) and "Coming Clean" (Kimberly Rae Miller), "Breaking Night: A Memoir of Forgiveness, Survival, and My Journey from Homeless to Harvard" is a horrific, but incredibly inspiring, true story of how one little girl is emotionally and then physically abandoned by her parents and yet somehow grows up functional--so functional she goes to Harvard. Liz Murray spent more time cutting school than attending classes, doing all she could to get her drug-addicted mother to pay attention to her, surviving without a working shower/bathtub and stealing clothes and food because the family's money was spent on drugs and booze. And somehow social services never intervened until she was 13--even though many of those in authority knew what was going on in the house. I am so impressed with Liz Murray's fortitude and gumption. It would have been so easy to repeat her mother's story; instead, she created her own and it is a truly astounding one. Homeless from the age of 15, she managed to go back to school, graduate, win a New York Times scholarship and go to Harvard. Reading this book will make you both cry and laugh and feel both ashamed and encouraged--but most of all, it will give you hope. We humans are tough cookies!
I downloaded this book to learn more about the homeless culture as a future therapist. I could not have happened upon a more perfect book. Ms. Murray wrote a poignant, detailed, beautiful memoir, often narrating from the perspective of a child with parents addicted to drugs. I feel that I learned more from her memoirs then I ever could from college texts or scholarly articles. She also gives the readers an inspirational true story of triumph and grace over adversity. I was humbled by her compassion(rather than resentment) for her addict parents.
The best memoir I've read in a while! Compelling and inspiring - Murray tells such a beautiful and honest story. I've felt a bit inundated by the poverty-to-Ivy-League story line lately with reading "Educated" & "Hillbilly Elegy" earlier this year but this one is by far my favorite. So honest and painful and beautiful. Her self realization was so powerful, I was left in tears, uncharacteristically so. Highly recommend!