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The Beauty in Breaking: A Memoir Paperback – June 29, 2021

4.3 out of 5 stars 1,951 ratings

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From the Publisher

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

An Amazon Best Book of July 2020: When Michele Harper was in her teens, she got her first taste of the emergency room: “I marveled at the place, one of bright lights and dark hallways, a place so quiet and yet so throbbing with life.” She wasn’t there for an innocent childhood fall, but because her father had physically abused her brother, again. Growing up in Washington, DC, as part of the “Black elite,” Harper and her family never spoke about her father’s violence and the searing scars it left. Yet it was that visit to the emergency room that crystalized her desire to heal and pursue medicine—“if my brother’s body could be patched up, then certainly, in its own time, his spirit could mend, too.” The Beauty in Breaking is Dr. Harper’s story of breaks and fixes, of healing emotionally and physically. She recounts the fears of her childhood and how those same feelings of brokenness and abandonment returned when her husband left her, and how she copes as a Black female doctor. From tending to babies who were no longer breathing, to a boy who was beat up at school and vows to retaliate with a gun (the only way he knows how), to patients who have a history of sexual abuse, Dr. Harper vividly recounts what the ER is like at 3:30 in the morning. She peppers her memories with her own reflections on the racism and sexism that permeate the field of medicine and our country and what it is like to grieve and rebuild from a traumatic event, whether a cracked rib, a horrible father, or the babies she never had with her husband. Dr. Harper is determined to heal, but also to take the time necessary to understand the pain, in a page-turning memoir of hurt, diagnosis, and recovery. —Al Woodworth, Amazon Book Review

Review

“Riveting, heartbreaking, sometimes difficult, always inspiring.” —The New York Times Book Review

The Beauty in Breaking takes us into the life in an emergency room—the drama, the adrenaline, the emotion—with such immediacy that I could not help but be completely enthralled by the individual stories of the patients that Michele Harper treats. But this powerful, poignant page-turner of a book also tells a much larger and universal story about how healing actually happens, not just for broken bodies but for broken hearts and souls. In sharing the stories of her patients and her own life, Harper shows us that that healing begins only after we are broken open ourselves. And she shows us with hopeful, heartbreaking clarity that it comes from healing each other.” —Kerry Egan, author of On Living

The Beauty in Breaking is a compelling page-turner about how Dr. Michele Harper took a broken childhood and wove herself into a strong, honest, compassionate doctor. A must read.” —Louann Brizendine, MD, author of The Female Brain

“Tackling such painful subjects as domestic abuse, trauma, and racism with grace and wisdom, this eloquent book probes the human condition as it chronicles a woman’s ever evolving spiritual journey. A profoundly humane memoir from a thoughtful doctor.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Taking on the painful topics of trauma, domestic abuse, and the ‘ubiquitous microaggressions faced by people of color,’ Harper witnesses the resilience of the human spirit of her patients and begins her own process of self-healing. . . . This powerful story will resonate with readers.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Harper’s words inspire hope and understanding of the importance of peace and acceptance of the past. Poignant, helpful, and encouraging, [her] lessons from life in and outside of the emergency room ultimately teach readers how to trust the healing process.” —Library Journal

“In this illuminating memoir, an African American emergency room doctor finds that her patients’ stories lead her to make connections between her work and the larger world.” —Shelf Awareness

“A book for our times, Harper’s debut is a compelling memoir about her life as a Black woman emergency room doctor and how that work overlaps with the complexities of life. Harper explores hurt and healing, race and gender, justice and hope with candor and compassion.” —Ms. Magazine

“Inspiring.” —Parade

“A moving, beautifully written memoir.” —New York Post

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Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Riverhead Books (June 29, 2021)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 304 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0525537392
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0525537397
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 8 ounces
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 5.1 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.3 out of 5 stars 1,951 ratings

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Customer reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5
1,951 global ratings
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Lozza
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 31, 2020
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Hanne
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome!
Reviewed in Germany on July 29, 2020
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