'Breaking Night' by Liz Murray

Book Club Discussion Questions

Breaking Night by Liz Murray
Breaking Night by Liz Murray. Hyperion

Breaking Night by Liz Murray gives readers a look into inner city poverty. These questions are meant to help book clubs think through Murray's personal story and the social issues raised by her story.

  1. There are plenty of atrocious aspects to Liz's childhood - the hunger so painful she ate Chap Stick and toothpaste, the lice she had for months, the stopped-up, putrid-smelling bathroom and consequent lack of personal hygiene, the sleep deprivation, watching her parents shoot up daily, being left alone with a child molester, the HIV-positive blood splattered on the kitchen walls and counters, even their pack of Wonder bread, etc. Was there an aspect you were most taken aback by?
  2. Have you been close to someone with a drug addiction? Was Liz's portrayal of her parents similar to your experience?
  3. Did you side more with Liz or Lisa in the way they handled their parents' addiction and behavior? Why?
  4. Why do think Liz loved and accepted her parents as much as she did? Was this surprising to you?
  5. What finally made Liz decide to turn her life around? Given her history, was this drastic change believable to you?
  6. In reading this book, did you naturally compare your childhood (or the current childhood of your young children) to Liz's? Has this changed the way you look at obstacles in your own daily life?
  1. Has the knowledge you've gained through reading Liz's story spurred you on to take action - to do something for yourself that you know is right, or to help children in Liz's situation?
  2. Rate Breaking Night on a scale of 1 to 5.