In Breaking Through the Spiral Ceiling, Hoopes traces her development as a woman biologist, how she fell in love with DNA but encountered discouraging signals from men in science, how she married and balanced both family and career, and why she's glad not to be a Harvard professor.
Hoopes’s memoir bases around her scientific field of work. I was apprehensive to read it because I thought it would be too confusing to me... I don’t know science. If you ask me how light bulbs work I will say, “Benjamin Franklin tied a key to a kite and got electrocuted”. So yeah… Thankfully you don’t have to be a scientist to understand what this book is about. There’s nothing about chromosomes or some other thing I learned in high school. This book is about how she became one of the most successful scientists. It wasn’t just working hard at school, graduating, and BAM job opening. The storyline was set in a time where women weren’t treated as equals in the work place. Not only that, her husband died young leaving her with a son to take care of. This was extra hard on her and I commend her for doing such a great job. I couldn’t handle the situations Hoopes was in.
Not only do you read about her struggles, there are also her achievements. She tells her story in a serious and fun manner. You’ll find yourself smiling sometimes at the jokes and puns she writes which makes some of her serious statements a little lighter and less depressing. I recommend this book for someone who wants to read about accomplishing struggles and goals that were hard during a time when women were treated as second class. I’m very glad there are women like Hoopes who take challenges head on and succeed!
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