Every Crooked Pot by Renee Rosen: Young Adult Book Review
by Renee Rosen
St. Martin's Griffin
ISBN: 0312365438 / 9780312365431
Nina Goldman was born with a disfiguring birthmark above her left eye. Along with an older sister and brother, she is raised by loving and prosperous Jewish parents. Beginning when Nina is seven years old, the story chronicles her life for the next 13 years. As readers would expect, she feels ugly and unlovable. Fortunately, her parents do everything in their power to get her to the best doctors. Eventually there's not much left of the birthmark, though a few more years pass before the internal scars are healed. The story follows Nina through childhood insecurities, including teasing by her classmates, to her first sexual experience, through first love and self-acceptance. The lives of the entire family revolve around Nina's good-hearted and loving but often exasperating, narcissistic father. In addition to making peace with her birthmark, Nina must forgive him for his failures-real and imagined-and forgive herself for sometimes hating him more than loving him. In the end, she comes to terms with those feelings as well. Beautifully written, and with larger-than-life characters, this book will remain in readers' hearts for a long time to come.
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