Liz Murray and her sister Lisa learn to fend for themselves from a very early age. They are born to parents, who are both alcoholics and drug addicted. Despite this, their parents love the girls deeply and want to do better by them, but are just incapable. They spend most of their monthly welfare check on feeding their habits and not their children. So, much of Liz’s childhood is spent skipping school, playing with friends and learning how to either steal, make a few pennies or scrounge in order to feed herself.
As Liz moves through her teen years, she spends more and more time skipping school and eventually lands up moving out of her mother’s house and becoming homeless. Breaking night, is the term used on making it through another night on the street, when night is broken and she has made it through to another day. A day where Liz, through the kindness of friends, will probably sneak into their house to take a shower, sleep or have a snack from their kitchen.
This book is an enlightening window into what day to day living is like for a homeless teen. A teen who found herself in this place, through no fault of her own, as many out there do. A teen who breaks many stereotypes of what we in the home having world may think. But beyond that, this is also a story of how someone with all the odds stacked against her and under incredibly difficult circumstances, decides to take control of that part of her life that she can control. She realizes that only with an education will she eventually be able to pay her own rent and not have to rely on others. So with amazing determination, she finds a way to go back to high school and eventually beyond, all while being homeless.
I listened to this book, which is read by Liz and found her story totally captivating. Just knowing that she overcame homelessness and has become so successful, is inspiring in and of itself. But really understanding and being immersed in the details of her life, gives one a true sense of her daily obstacles and the inner strength it took to move her life to such a different place.