During our winter staff retreat, New City decided to start a staff book club together and check in during our monthly meetings to discuss it. The book we chose to read is called Breaking Night, and we’d like to highly recommend this book to our volunteers and participants! This is a deeply moving personal account of a young woman’s journey from "Homelessness to Harvard," as per her description. Liz Murray recounts her experiences starting from her early childhood during the happier times of her life and moves into the intense details of the effects of her parents’ destructive drug habits. Liz is uncomfortably honest about the good, the bad, and the ugly of her home life, and yet the reader’s hopeis continually buoyed by this young girl’s intelligence, empathy, and survival skills.
So far, we have read and discussed the first two chapters of Breaking Night, and we are so excited to continue! Liz has shown us the conflicting emotions of a young child witnessing the toxic effects of her parents’ addictions on their family, housing, nutrition, and ultimately, her education. Because of her environment, Liz is subjected to prejudice and bullying at her school, and somehow her innate intelligence allows her to barely move to the next grade level each year. Furthermore, we see her parents' deteriorating relationship through her childlike eyes, two people she desperately seeks approval from. Instead, Liz ends up taking on a protective, almost parental role for their safety and well-being.
We at New City would like to invite you to join us in reading this book and get a glimpse into the life of a family struggling with many different factors that shape this dynamic, bright girl’s life!