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Review of "Breaking Night" by Liz Murray

Updated on May 8, 2012

Liz Murray

Disadvantaged Teenager Prevails

This article reviews a book called "Breaking Night: A Memoir of Forgiveness, Survival and my Journey From Homeless to Harvard", which was later made into a video.

Liz Murray and sister Lisa was born to drug addicted parents in the Bronx. Her parents had sold dope illegally and her father was in prison at her birth. For several years, her Mom got free of the drugs and got public and private assistance for maintaining a clean home, while still drinking somewhat.

Upon his release from prison, her father reappeared and life became crazier and crazier as time went on. At age 13, Child Welfare took Liz into custody. Her Mom left her Dad for another man and Welfare deemed it OK for her Mom and "Brick" to have custody.

Liz Talks About Her Story

Alcoholism Continues, Homelessness Ensues

Brick was a hard-living and extremely difficult man to live with. Liz witnessed his abuse of her mother and her mother continued to drink, becoming legally blind.

Finally, Liz left at age 15 to the streets, behind in school, yet determined to succeed. With other kids hiding her out and a street family, she was on her way.

Success to her, this meant a high school degree. With some deception from her Dad, she succeeded in this endeavor while being homeless and living with friends or sleeping in apartment stairwells for warmth during New York winters.

Doing homework whereever, she earned her degree plus a $25,000 scholarship to Harvard. I found this an amazing story of fortitude!

Breaking Night Video

A Made for TV movie was made of the Liz Murray Story including an interview with Liz Murray. This was nominated for 3 Emmy's including Outstanding Made-for-TV Movie.

I often use videos to see if I am interested in investing the time to read a book. This video was very interesting to my perspective as a westerner. I am very unfamiliar with New York and all its boroughs like the Bronx.

The actress, I thought was wonderful and portrayed the situation as well as possible given the short period of time. As usual, I followed up with the book for detail. I recommend them both very highly.


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    • Laura in Denver profile image

      Laura Deibel 5 years ago from Aurora

      Surving New York winters homeless could not have been easy one iota. Thanks for your comment!

    • ahorseback profile image

      ahorseback 5 years ago

      That this all makes you and sis pretty amazing souls ! That is what fortitude and survivability is all about ! Awesome is where you stand right now !

    • Laura in Denver profile image

      Laura Deibel 6 years ago from Aurora

      This book is quite an extraordinary example of over-comming the odds. Thx!

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 6 years ago from England

      Hi, it never fails to amaze me how people can be so strong and pull themselves out of such dire situations, fascinating review, thanks, nell

    • Laura in Denver profile image

      Laura Deibel 6 years ago from Aurora

      Amazingly, she made her own chance with gut determination. Thanks!

    • Laura in Denver profile image

      Laura Deibel 6 years ago from Aurora

      Blossom SB,

      Liz was able to deal with her drug addicted and alcoholic parents, without going that way herself. Quite an accomplishment!


    • Laura in Denver profile image

      Laura Deibel 6 years ago from Aurora

      Liz was able to deal with her drug addicted and alcoholic parents, without going that way herself. Quite an accomplishment!


    • tamron profile image

      tamron 6 years ago

      Most people would think that poor girl. She didn't have a chance! The truth is her situation just made her a stronger better person. Vote up

    • BlossomSB profile image

      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 6 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      An interesting and sensitive review of a great autobiographical story. Thank you for telling us about this book.


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