Reviewed by Arya Fomonyuy for Readers' Favorite
Nobody's Like Me: A Bronx Girl's Memoir by Irene Abruzzese is a wonderful story of a young girl growing up without her mother, raised by her uncle, grandmother, and aunts, an inter-generational journey of her passage to womanhood - a story that examines what it meant for the protagonist to grow up as Jewish in the Bronx, N.Y., where people from different ethnic backgrounds interacted during the 50’s and 60’s. This is a story that explores the protagonist’s quest to embrace her identity fully while opening up to connect with other cultures.
This memoir is lyrical, poetic, and infused with a powerful spiritual breath. One gets the impression that one is reading through the author’s consciousness, navigating her spiritual climates and raw emotions. Her humanity comes across in the writing in very clear and meaningful ways, exposing her desire for love and a strong sense of belonging. The book explores powerful themes, including family, inter-racial interactions, personal development, love and death, and self-worth, and these themes are seamlessly woven into the story.
Irene Abruzzese’s writing is arresting, featuring vivid and colorful descriptions of her settings and well-composed dialogues. It was the title of the book that first caught my attention. It came across to me as assertive and irresistible and I don’t regret that I picked this book up, because it really documents one woman’s journey towards self-acceptance. Nobody's Like Me: A Bronx Girl's Memoir has many lessons for readers, but what I found most interesting is the entertainment it offers. It is not without its own share of humor and readers will find themselves irresistibly following Irene’s journey.