Nobody's Like Me

A Bronx Girl's Memoir

Non-Fiction - Memoir
344 Pages
Reviewed on 07/24/2017
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Author Biography

Irene Abruzzese is a retired NYC school teacher who holds an MA in Reading , with certification across both general and special education, including administration. Her focus has always been guidance based , addressing the needs of the whole child through adulthood, in and out of the school enviroment. This memoir had to be shared before returning to the educational domain. Her career bears relevance to future teachers and parents; a future writing goal. After 35 years of teaching in five different schools and levels, serving predominantly low income populations, retirement leaves much to share. Married and mother of theee young adults, now living in Rockland County NY but whose heart and soul remains in The Bronx.

    Book Review

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.