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The Beauty in Breaking - Michele Harper

The Beauty in Breaking

By Michele Harper

  • Release Date: 2020-07-07
  • Genre: Biographies & Memoirs
Score: 4
From 78 Ratings


The New York Times Bestseller

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

As seen/heard on Fresh AirThe Daily Show with Trevor Noah, NBC Nightly News, MSNBC, Weekend Edition and more

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, D.C., in a complicated 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.


  • For the new nurses

    By Han RN
    This book was a little push from the universe to take control of my life in order to be a better healer. Dr. Harper thank you so much!
  • Just another white privilege sob story.

    By TiredOfWhiners
    Started out OK, but eventually evolved into screed about white privilege, blah, blah, blah. Deleted book from my d3vice and moving away from Apple Books
  • The Beauty in Breaking

    By Joanabake
    The writing comes straight from the heart, poetry in prose. I loved this book and everyone’s story that aligned with hers. The book rings with personal truth on every page.