Memoir · New York Times Best Books

The Beauty in Breaking

“thank you to the ground that relentlessly rises up to meet us as long as we’re willing to take the next step.”

― Michele Harper

Why I’m Reading this Book?

This year I’m following most notable books list from New York times (, because sometimes I get bored reading classics all the time and need to know what’s happening in current times. I’ve read 2 from this list last year and both were good. So, I’m moving on to 3rd one with this book.


This is the memoir of Michele Harper who has worked as an emergency room physician. Michele draws parallel from her life while narrating her experiences in Hospital and emphasize the fact that life is full of ups and downs but it’s beautiful because of the hard experiences an individual faces as only then one can appreciate life completely.

My Review…

Michele compares the life with the Japanese art of Kintsukuroi, where one repairs broken pottery by filling in the cracks with gold, silver , or platinum, thus highlighting the breaks and celebrating them.

Kintsugi Jar

Like the jar above, life is beautiful and one should just mend the brokenness and appreciate its beauty.

Michele has come from a home riddled with domestic violence and later from a broken marriage of her own. She narrates several experiences where she was so devastated she thought she could never heal. But one day at a time , step by step, she recovered and found these experience necessary to appreciate life.

She tells about several patients of her, some were weird, some were joyful, and some downright heartbreaking and these patient’s stories helped her in her life too.

Although there were several moments of sadness , this book is a joyful read. Because it talks about hope which is inextiguishable even in the moments of utter darkness.

My Rating — 4

On the scale of: (1- Hate , 2- Neither like nor dislike, 3- Like, 4- Love, 5- Gaga)

Why anyone else should read this Book?

I agree with New York times that it’s a notable book. Any story that makes you think is worth reading. I think anyone can relate to authoress at some point and appreciate the fact we are not alone in what we are facing and there is always hope.

It also gives a glimpse into the chaotic ER environment we usually see from patient side of the door. It’s a unique opportunity to see it from the other side.

Michele has handpicked the most precious jewel of her memories. Each patient is different with a different story and every story will tug at your heart. I think all these experiences deserves a chance to be read.

So, go and pick up this book and tell me how did you like it.

“Books are the plane, and the train, and the road. They are the destination, and the journey. They are home. ”Anna Quindlen


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