We have all read hundreds of motivational books and quotes, and watched many inspirational movies. But there is something about Homeless to Harvard that is different, and where one is compelled to dwell deeper into Liz Murray’s journey of pain and triumph. Her book Breaking Night provides the perfect opportunity for such a longing.
The book, once again, takes one on an emotional ride with her poverty stricken childhood, where the desire for food, clean clothes and socks, and clean place for a shower were top priority. And after she becomes homeless, the desire for shelter, sleep and warmth are added to her woes.
The book teaches a lesson in gratitude, especially in the things that we take for granted. There are millions in the world who don’t have access to these things, and while we see pictures of poverty stricken people and are constantly reminded to be grateful, it is when we go through a person’s life journey that these things stand out in a new way altogether.
It isn’t just the author’s pain in dealing with extreme poverty and her mother’s drug addiction that fills the reader with pain. On major incident is that she gets molested as a child, and she allows it, only because the molester was making things better for her family. It is shocking to read, and incredibly painful.
The author’s big heart is reflected in the love she has for her mother, despite her mother’s drug addiction, and the fact that her mother sells everything in the house to get a hit, including her daughter’s bike and birthday gift, to the point where there is no food in the fridge.
The best part about her story is that she does not make excuses and there is no hint of self-pity. She lifts herself from her painful situation, many times, over and over again, until her dreams become her destiny.
It is an incredible journey of triumph, where at 15 she is eating from garbage cans as a homeless teenager, and at 19 attending what is widely known as the best university in the world.