Book Review: Breaking Night, Liz Murray

Cannonball Read: 51

Who hasn’t seen the Lifetime movie Homeless to Harvard? I loved it when it first came out, and when my mom told me Liz Murray from that movie (and from real life!) was going to be the keynote speaker at an event she was attending, I jokingly told her, “Get me her autograph.” Well, then my mom came home with this book autographed for me! It’s a good thing I totally loved it because I’ll never be able to get rid of it!

This is Liz’s story of growing up and surviving. It’s a detailed looked at her life from birth until her high school graduation, and even a quick summary at the end of life after graduation. And let me tell you, her life really sucked. Drug addict parents. Ditching school. Living a pretty sad life. If you have any kind of a heart, you will be as horrified as I was reading this (and for me to be horrified is a big deal, because I had a childhood of my own that could rival Liz’s). Yet she somehow had the strength (in the educational world we call this kind of strength “resiliency”) to get through the years, even if her “getting through” was done in an unorthodox manner. She didn’t really attend high school for her first two years, and then it was a different school, taking as many courses as she could fit into her day. And then she survived.

Needless to say, this book really moved me. I think if you are looking for an essential truth to your life, you can find it here. Two points that I took away from this book:

“‎’Homeless person or business person, doctor or teacher, whatever your background may be, the same holds true for each of us: life takes on the meaning that you give it.”

Liz is not someone who is trapped by her past or by the things that others did to her. She is living a life that’s been given meaning by her own actions, not those by others. It is refreshing to me to see someone who could very easily fall into that “cycle” accept personal responsibility for what she can change. How very Viktor Frankl of her.

The other thing is this:

“In the years ahead of me, I learned that the world is actually filled with people ready to tell you how likely something is, and what it means to be realistic. But what I have also learned is that no one, no one truly knows what is possible until they go and do it.”

So many people, young and old alike, think that because others think they can do this or that or the other, they can’t. Well guess what. You never know what you can or cannot do until you get your ass out there and just do it, or at least try.

Grab a copy of this book and be inspired!

Overall rating: 10/10



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4 responses to “Book Review: Breaking Night, Liz Murray

  1. Pingback: Krista’s CBR-III #51: Breaking Night, Liz Murray | Cannonball Read III

  2. Would love to read her book and meet her someday…the movie shows an exceptional human being in her.
    Thank you.

  3. I’m only seeing this just now but I wanted to take a moment to say thank you so much for your kind words. Writing this book was one of the hardest and most rewarding experiences of my life. I was just hoping it would be useful to someone, and I’m so grateful to know it has been. Thank you.

    • Krista

      Wow – I am always SO honored by author responses! Thank you for your kind words and the life you lead that inspires others. I love that you worked through the pain of writing for the greater good… I can only imagine the numbers of lives you have changed because you have bravely shared your story!

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