Review: Running from the Mirror by Howard Shulman

Running from the Mirror: A Memoir

Running from the Mirror
Author: Howard Shulman
Publisher: Sandra Jonas Publishing
Published: October 5, 2015
Genre: Autobiography, Non-Fiction
My Rating:

4 stars new

Synopsis new

Just three days after he was born, Howard Shulman contracted an infection that devoured half his face. Abandoned at the hospital by his parents, he became a ward of New Jersey under the care of a state-employed surgeon who experimentally rebuilt his face.

Running from the Mirror is the poignant true story of one man’s struggle to survive against staggering odds and create a meaningful life for himself. Howard gives an unflinching account of growing up a bullied outcast with no family to officially call his own. Relying on little more than street smarts and grit, he rises from dishwasher to successful entrepreneur. Along the way, a European actress, a schoolteacher, and a fiery Hispanic woman help transform his life.

Filled with heart-wrenching suffering as well as heart-lifting joy, Running from the Mirror is an unforgettable testament to the strength of the human spirit.

my thoughts new

running from the mirror by howard shulman

“Recent events in my life have made me realize that our choices are not always as black and white as they may seem, especially the most complex ones– the ones involving family and love.”

There is something so incredibly beautiful about this memoir of Howard Shulman, the man whose face was devoured by an infection when he was born. It’s a story that inspires. It’s an eye-opener and a reminder that life is sometimes cruel but nevertheless, amazing because of the imperfections that somehow make us human.

Howard was left by his parents right after they discovered that he’s suffering a staph infection and his face quickly disappeared. Believing that he will barely make it, his parents handed him to the hospital and later on, he was sent to a foster family where he grew up normally despite his appearance.

This story centers on the importance of a child’s growth and development, of one’s self-esteem and a sense of belonging. Going through the pages, I felt so bad for Howard for being able to carry such burden from his birth right until he continued to grow up. Being bullied and being the center of one’s animosity and loathing… it wasn’t that easy to handle for him. But he was able to, even though he also had some bad decisions that turned his life into a mess at some point.

I love the message behind this autobiography. It simply tells the readers that despite your imperfections, you are still worthy to live and to be loved just like anybody else. Overall, this book is inspirational. If you fancy real life stories that can make a difference in your life, I highly recommend you to read Howard’s life story.

(A copy of this book was given to me by Sandra Jonas Publishing in exchange for an honest review.)


4 stars new

Buy this book at:


xo pearl


6 thoughts on “Review: Running from the Mirror by Howard Shulman

    • Thank you, Tanya! 🙂 You have a point there. His parents are worst (sorry for the word) but I felt really bad the moment they abandoned him just days after he was born. :(( This book was really emotional and an eye-opener as well.


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