Monday, July 20, 2020

The Beauty in Breaking by Michele Harper

Rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
Pages: 304 pages
Published: July 2020

The Beauty in Breaking by Dr. Michele Harper is a beautifully written memoir in which the emergency room doctor shares tales of her life growing up in an abusive home, being educated at Harvard, and her subsequent career in the medical field. I chose this book as one of my July Book of the Month selections. 

Each chapter in this book focuses on a patient or patients that Harper encountered in her career. While protecting confidentiality, she shares the ailment that brought them into the hospital and her treatment plan. That probably doesn't sound any different than what you could watch on a medical drama on TV; however, Harper also digs deeper beyond the diagnosing the patient's illness but learning more about their brokenness. In some cases, she is able to help them beyond a prescription or referral. And then, she shares how sometimes she never knows what happens to a patient once they leave her facility, or in more dire cases, the patient dies. Each story is unique, and Harper approaches each vignette with care and respect. If she heals the way she writes, she is probably an excellent doctor. 

Her overarching message is that we are all broken in some way - physically, emotionally, spiritually, economically. But like a broken piece of pottery, the cracks are what allow the light to shine through. Harper did an exceptional job sharing her life's work and story. The memoir is wonderfully written, and I am simply in awe that someone with such a demanding career was able to make time to also write such a succinct piece of non-fiction. 

Recommendation: While the topics are heavy, the prose is written in such a way that allows the reader to draw from it easily. I highly recommend The Beauty in Breaking

Until next time ... Read on!

Regardless of whether I purchase a book, borrow a book, or receive a book in exchange for review, my ultimate goal is to be honest, fair, and constructive. I hope you've found this review helpful.


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