The Beauty in Breaking: A Review

Michele Harper’s memoir “The Beauty in Breaking” pulls the proverbial curtain back providing a much needed peek into her life..

Shade or Shine Review

What does it mean to be a woman of color, physician, daughter, sister, lover, friend, and human being who has survived broken relationships, microaggressions, and more?

Michele Harper knows.

My first read of 2021 was this beautiful and compassionate book about healing. In her memoir, “The Beauty in Breaking,” Michele Harper navigates the medical world while providing us with an intimate look into her life. As an emergency room doctor, where time is a valuable commodity — she’s trained to get in, address the issue and get out — interestingly enough, she reveals through this memoir that time is the critical element to help humanize her experience.

“My calling is to heal; that is my truth,” the author says as she often found herself looking at her patients with an empathic lens. What is clear is that Michele has an intuition that I don’t think is usually found with ER doctors. Her life experiences have created rapt attention where she focuses on her patient’s needs and rights.

  • She was asked by the police to do a medical exam on a man that clearly didn’t want one. Here’s the rub: no one but Michele thought of the ethical thing to do; he had the right to personhood.
  • She helped to empower a female vet that was raped while she served in Afghanistan.
  • As a little girl, she had the wherewithal to break with social norms and called the police on her father — a known physician — who was violent and beat her mom.

I give this book a shine, it’s definitely worth the read. It’s a story I’m glad she told. In some way, I emerged from ‘Breaking’ a little more empowered, more aware of what women doctors of color face, and so much much more grateful that they’re there.

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