The Beauty in Breaking: A Memoir

The Beauty in Breaking: A Memoir

An emergency room physician explores how a life of service to others taught her how to heal herself.

Michele Harper is a female, African American emergency room physician in a profession that is overwhelmingly male and white. Brought up in Washington, DC, in an abusive family, she went to Harvard, where she met her husband. They stayed together through medical school until two months before she was scheduled to join the staff of a hospital in central Philadelphia, when he told her he couldn't move with her. Her marriage at an end, Harper began her new life in a new city, in a new job, as a newly single woman.

In the ensuing years, as Harper learned to become an effective ER physician, bringing insight and empathy to every patient encounter, she came to understand that each of us is broken—physically, emotionally, psychically. How we recognize those breaks, how we try to mend them, and where we go from there are all crucial parts of the healing process.

The Beauty in Breaking is the poignant true story of Harper's journey toward self-healing. Each of the patients Harper writes about taught her something important about recuperation and recovery. How to let go of fear even when the future is murky. How to tell the truth when it's simpler to overlook it. How to understand that compassion isn't the same as justice. As she shines a light on the systemic disenfranchisement of the patients she treats as they struggle to maintain their health and dignity, Harper comes to understand the importance of allowing ourselves to make peace with the past as we draw support from the present. In this hopeful, moving, and beautiful book, she passes along the precious, necessary lessons that she has learned as a daughter, a woman, and a physician.

Title:The Beauty in Breaking: A Memoir
Edition Language:English
ISBN:9780525537380
Format Type:

    The Beauty in Breaking: A Memoir Reviews

  • Gabby

    This was really interesting. I don't read memoirs often and I've never read a memoir from a doctor or medical professional before so this audiobook was a very interesting experience. This author has a...

  • Shannon A

    I simply couldn't put this memoir down. It's a debut unlike any other; If you think this a medical career memoir you'd be wrong and pleasantly surprised. Michele brings to light what is often forgotte...

  • Kimberley

    I can see the value of a memoir like this—particularly if you’re currently in healthcare or are deeply interested in the way politics plagues medical decisions. That said, a lot of the case studie...

  • Tinichix (nicole)

    2020 has really been a great memoir year for me so far. Michele Harper is an emergency room physician who has put together this beautiful piece of work on how her life as a physician, who heals and se...

  • Kathleen

    Harper grew up in an affluent, abusive family that left her emotionally scarred for many years. This memoir recounts her personal growth as she practiced medicine in the Emergency Rooms of the hospita...

  • Kelly

    Ooohhh, so many positive reviews about this book. I was hoping to be one them. A memoir about a physician where she shares stories from the trenches as an ER physician. That is right up my alley. That...

  • Holly

    Dr. Harper falls prey to my pet peeve in memoirs: she paints herself as a saint. This woman is apparently perfect. She went to Harvard, she cares about her patients more than any other doctor does, sh...

  • Julie Rhinehart

    This book was not what I expected. From the description I anticipated a tough upbringing and to see how she became who she wanted to be after rising from and learning so much from these trials. Instea...

  • Maggie Cavanaugh

    I hate rating people’s memoirs, this is their real life, private things they put out for the world to know. The premise had me really excited, I love some good ER stories, and this delivered some go...

  • Diana

    There’s been a lot of buzz about this book on social media so I was surprised to see it available at my library. At first I could barely put it down. The first half was a 5-star read. But then i sta...