Read Heartburn by Nora Ephron Online


Is it possible to write a sidesplitting novel about the breakup of the perfect marriage? If the writer is Nora Ephron, the answer is a resounding yes. For in this inspired confection of adultery, revenge, group therapy, and pot roast, the creator of Sleepless in Seattle reminds us that comedy depends on anguish as surely as a proper gravy depends on flour and butter.SevenIs it possible to write a sidesplitting novel about the breakup of the perfect marriage? If the writer is Nora Ephron, the answer is a resounding yes. For in this inspired confection of adultery, revenge, group therapy, and pot roast, the creator of Sleepless in Seattle reminds us that comedy depends on anguish as surely as a proper gravy depends on flour and butter.Seven months into her pregnancy, Rachel Samstat discovers that her husband, Mark, is in love with another woman. The fact that the other woman has "a neck as long as an arm and a nose as long as a thumb and you should see her legs" is no consolation. Food sometimes is, though, since Rachel writes cookbooks for a living. And in between trying to win Mark back and loudly wishing him dead, Ephron's irrepressible heroine offers some of her favorite recipes. Heartburn is a sinfully delicious novel, as soul-satisfying as mashed potatoes and as airy as a perfect soufflé....

Title : Heartburn
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780679767954
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 179 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Heartburn Reviews

  • Nancy
    2019-05-05 16:32

    The week before Nora Ephron died, I happened to order this (used) book, which I've been meaning to read for quite some time since she referenced it often in her essays & interviews. Apparently I'm the only woman in America who thinks this is not particularly good. Even the previous recipient had a note written to her on the first page that says as much: "...No woman's bookshelf should be without this!" Seriously? Well, maybe there's one other woman out there who didn't like it also, because that woman gave it away to Amazon... And left a McDonald's receipt ca. 2007 for a grilled chicken salad she ate in Sarasota, Florida.Loosely based on her middle marriage falling apart-- when her husband (real-life Carl Bernstein) left her pregnant for another woman--Ephron's first person story screams of the early 1980s it was written in.... Lots of (now-) weirdly inappropriate gay/lesbian references, an overly-harsh rejection of Washington, DC as a city (not just the politics), and a wacky acceptance of bourgeois people cheating on their spouses. How can Rachel, the protagonist, claim she is a liberalized New York-y woman if she keeps going back to her husband who cheats on her? Because she's a cheater also? (apparently.) I don't get it. Ephron's character, Rachel, is generally unlikable. (I never liked Sally from "When Harry met Sally" either). Fortunately this book is only 178 pages. I gave Ephron an extra star only because I miss (most of) her.

  • Paul
    2019-05-12 20:29

    3.5 stars“I married him against all evidence. I married him believing that marriage doesn’t work, that love dies, that passion fades, and in so doing I became the kind of romantic only a cynic is truly capable of being.”The history and origins of this novel and the subsequent film are a matter of record. It charts the end of Ephron’s marriage to the journalist Carl Bernstein. The focus is Bernstein’s affair with Margaret Jay. The characters are very thinly disguised. In the book Ephron’s character (Rachel) explains to her therapist why she is writing about it;“Vera said: “Why do you feel you have to turn everything into a story?”So I told her why:Because if I tell the story, I control the version.Because if I tell the story, I can make you laugh, and I would rather have you laugh at me than feel sorry for me.Because if I tell the story, it doesn’t hurt as much.Because if I tell the story, I can get on with it.”Ephron was seven months pregnant when she discovered the affair; the novel charts her reactions and those of her husband. The book is full of one-liners, many of them very funny, some of them later finding their way into the script of “When Harry Met Sally”. The comment about her husband being the sort of man who could “have sex with a Venetian blind” illustrates Ephron’s turn of phrase. The inability of men to find things in the kitchen;“And if you say to him…’in the refrigerator’… and he goes to look, an interesting thing happens, a medical phenomenon that has not been sufficiently remarked upon. The effect of the refrigerator light on the male cornea. Blindness….. ‘I don’t see it anywhere.'”There are some very funny moments, the key lime pie, the hamsters in her first marriage, the group therapy session. Amongst the humour is raw pain and this is a story of survival and there is a sense of the sadness of it when Rachel says that the most difficult thing will be forgetting being in love. But this is also part cookbook as in the novel Rachel is a food writer (this is from Ephron’s sister Delia), there are a number of recipes dotted around the place as well. I enjoyed the ironic and biting humour, but there was one niggle for me. We have made racist language unacceptable and progress has been made towards making homophobic and sexist language unacceptable. It does seem though that we still think it is ok to deride those with mental ill health and make jokes about “loony bins”. I am old enough to remember the old hospitals where we used to “warehouse” people in the UK and spent some time volunteering in one when I was at university. We still have a long way to go in this area. Apart from that caveat’ this was funny.

  • Tanya Burr
    2019-05-09 17:08

    I gave this book 3 stars, because although I enjoyed it, it's not a book I finished and instantly began recommending to everyone I know. It was a very quick read and I liked how unique it was with the comfort food recipes set within the novel. I thought it was clever and funny how Nora made light of a very sad situation...heartbreak.

  • Kelly (and the Book Boar)
    2019-05-17 19:38

    Find all of my reviews at: grew up with Nora Ephron. Her movies taught me everything I would ever need to know about having unrealistic expectations when it comes to matters of the heart . . . They made me laugh . . . And sometimes they even made me cry . . . That's why it's so hard for me to give this book such a low rating. But it's a low rating I must give because Heartburn just wasn't very good. I'll let Nora's own words do most of the talking here so I don't have to, but to briefly summarize the plot - this is a fictional accounting of the actual demise of Nora Ephron and Carl Bernstein's marriage. According to the blurb it is sidesplittingly funny. In reality?"Not that this book has an enormous amount of plot, but it has more plot than I've ever dealt with before. My other books just meander from one person to the next, whereas this one has a story with a beginning and an end." Well, in theory it has all of that, but in all actuality Heartburn reads like a rambling, frantic journal entry rather than a well thought out novel. Entries such as the following:"Sometimes I believe that love dies but hope springs eternal. Sometimes I believe that hope dies but love springs eternal. Sometimes I believe that sex plus guilt equals love, and sometimes I believe that sex plus guilt equals good sex. Sometimes I believe that love is as natural as the tides, and sometimes I believe that love is an act of will. Sometimes I believe that some people are better at love than others, and sometimes I believe that everyone is taking it. Sometimes I believe that love is essential, and sometimes I believe that the only reason love is essential is that otherwise you spend all your times looking for it."would be pretty damn striking and memorable if the book weren't filled with schizophrenic rants such as these.I'm pretty sure writing Heartburn was a much needed therapeutic experience for Nora Ephron. She says herself:"Because if I tell the story, I control the version. If I tell the story, I can make you laugh, and I would rather have you laugh at me than feel sorry for me. Because if I tell the story, it doesn't hurt as much. Because if I tell the story, I can get on with it."I believe she did, in fact, need to write this story . . . but I feel like she needed to do it for herself and it didn't necessarily need to be published.Now the movie???? One of my favorites. This is one of the rare cases (yep, I'm still looking at you Winston Groom and your pitiful excuse for a story that was the print version of Forrest Gump) where the movie was better than the book. Meryl Streep and Jack Nicholson had such great chemistry, there was a lot of humor that I felt the book was missing, and Jack played his role so well it was easy to see how even though Carl Mark was a total shit Nora Rachel could want to fight in order to stay in love and married to him. Nora Ephron was a great writer of film and the movie version of Heartburn proves it.

  • Roxane
    2019-05-09 14:25

    This is one of those books that shows you how much a writer can get away with when they possess a strong voice. Heartburn is a fun novel about marital infidelity but it only hits one note. There's no depth or complexity to the story. Instead, it reads like a comedic monologue albeit a very enjoyable one, but still... I wanted more, no matter how many times I laughed or smiled to myself.

  • Bonnie
    2019-05-03 20:21

    My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars‘I think I was so entranced with being a couple that I didn’t even notice that the person I though I was a couple with thought he was a couple with someone else.’Heartburn is Nora Ephron’s first and only novel, and this breaks my heart because I adored this story. Never did I think it so thoroughly possible to take a story about heartbreak and turn it into something so full of life and jest. Heartbreak is a devastating thing that we humans are forced to suffer through, but can you even imagine having to undergo it at 38 years old and 7 months pregnant? Rachel discovers a note from her husbands lover in a book of children’s songs, suggesting that he sing them to his son. Him and Rachel’s son. Written with such stunning clarity, it’s effortless to understand the rage (and embarrassment) that Rachel felt. But being pregnant and having a toddler left her with a precarious decision on whether to stay or go.‘Maybe he’s missed me, I thought as we came around the corner. Maybe he’s come to his sense. Maybe he’s remembered he loves me. Maybe he’s full of remorse. There was a police car parked in front of the house. Maybe he’s dead, I thought. That wouldn’t solve everything, but it would solve a few things. He wasn’t, of course. They never are. When you want them to die, they never do.’Rachel Samstat has such a wry and cynical sense of humor (the best type of humor) that manages to never tread into bitterness. I’m not sure if it’s because Meryl Streep herself played Rachel in the 1986 movie adaptation of Heartburn but she voiced Rachel impeccably (do yourself a favor and listen to the clip here). I spent half the time listening to this story laughing uproariously with tears in my eyes. She portrayed a perfect combination of indifference and restraint while handling a tough situation but opening up the dam of emotions when absolutely necessary. It encompassed everything about true heartbreak and just how calamitous it can be, but galvanizing as well. Infused within her tale of heartbreak are comfort food recipes such as Sour Cream Peach Pie, plain ol’ mashed potatoes, and of course Key Lime Pie; perfect for consuming or weaponizing, if ever the situation calls for it.

  • Sarah
    2019-05-10 14:17

    Just felt like laughing, so picked this book up to visit with again. Fave quote: " Show me a woman who cries when the trees lose their leaves in autumn, and I'll show you a real asshole."

  • Melissa
    2019-05-19 12:08

    Meh. I was inspired to read a little Ephron after reading a recent NY Times article about her written by her son. And naturally, I chose this one, not for the biting humor, but because I really wanted to know what went down between her and Carl Bernstein. Apparently this book was her "revenge dish best served cold" and was so close to the truth that there were lawyers and restraints and all kinds of nonsense as a result. Nora Ephron was brilliant in her belief that if you take a bad situation (like, say, your husband's affair) and craft a funny story around it, people are no longer laughing at you, but laughing with you. So here we are. Unfortunately, it doesn't work. Rachel Samstat SUCKS. We already know Ms. Ephron was a full-on narcissist and completely unlikable, but does Rachel have to be too? (Somewhere, Carl Bernstein is going, "Uh, YES.") In Rachel's defense, the affair between Mark and Thelma was awful. It's bad enough she was 7 months preggo when she found out. But Mark and Thelma went well beyond clandestine afternoon delight and were actually seeing a psychologist together. And Thelma's husband knew about it and engaged in deep discussions with them about it. It's all so ... '70s. But let's face facts -- the demise of her marriage wasn't the tipping point that made Rachel cold and selfish. She was already there. And for someone who makes a lot of noise about having kids, the toddler is NEVER AROUND. I'm not talking "off playing somewhere" kind of absent. This child is nowhere in sight while Mommy goes from DC to NYC to one adult's house, to therapy, to another adult's house, to a bar, to another adult function, to a dinner, to see another friend, etc. etc. Maybe it's a generational thing. (She *was* drinking at 5-mo preggo, which was totally a generational thing) I doubt it, though. Treat your babysitter well, Mother of the Year, because she's *really* the one you can't afford to lose. A mediocre read at best. I still think Nora Ephron was brilliant, but think I'll stick with her movies.

  • Jennifer
    2019-05-02 13:25

    "My mother taught me many things when I was growing up, but the main thing I learned from her is that everything is copy. She said it again and again, and I have quoted her saying it again and again. As a result, I knew the moment my marriage ended that someday it might make a book – if I could just stop crying. One of the things I’m proudest of is that I managed to convert an event that seemed to me hideously tragic at the time to a comedy – and if that’s not fiction, I don’t know what is." It seems our talented Nora Ephron paved the way for all the Taylor Swifts in the world who choose to artfully publicize their heartbreaks and betrayals. I get it, I really do. It's the perfect combination of coping and revenge, and apparently it worked for Ms. Ephron and resulted in the bestseller: Heartburn.I ended up really liking this book. It's brief, funny, down to earth, and it offers amazing recipes...some of which I am looking forward to trying very much. Heartburn details the demise of Ms. Ephron's marriage, much to her husband's real-life dismay. But she does not play the role of a victim or seek pity from her audience in any way. It's like sitting around the dinner table listening to a woman recount the most ridiculous experience she's ever had. The table is roaring with wine-induced laughter and she hasn't even gotten to the good part yet! That is the tone of this book...and the fact that the audio is narrated by the amazing Meryl Streep just added to the experience. I'm glad I finally read this book and I plan to watch the movie soon. My favorite quote:“Most cooking is based on elementary longstanding principles, and to say cooking is creative not only misses the point of creativity, which is that it is painful and difficult and quite unrelated to whether it is possible to come up with yet another way to cook a pork chop, but also misses the whole point of cooking which is that it is totally mindless. What I love about cooking is that after a hard day, there is something comforting about the fact that if you melt butter and add flour and then hot stock, it will get thick! It’s a sure thing! It’s sure thing in a world where nothing is sure; it has a mathematical certainty in a world where those of us who long for some kind of certainty are forced to settle for crossword puzzles.”

  • Debbie
    2019-05-18 15:32

    Wince, wince. Ouch. How can I give my hero a 3? But oh, I must. I fell in love with Nora Ephron when I read her book of essays called I Feel Bad about My Neck: And Other Thoughts on Being a Woman. The love affair continued when I read another collection of essays called I Remember Nothing: and Other Reflections. She is a brilliant comedian, and her timing and delivery are perfect. She also wrote a great article about death and dying, which I continue to pass around to friends every chance I get. She is so damn funny, so damn right on, I adore her. When she died in 2012 from leukemia (a shocker, since she had kept her disease a secret from the public), all of us fans mourned the loss of this comic genius.So I figured I would love every single thing Nora wrote and had high expectations when I picked up Heartburn. But here’s the skinny. Or my skinny, anyway. Nora should have stuck with essays. This book, about the screwed-up relationship of two somewhat famous writers (she writes cookbooks, he’s a journalist), is witty and fun, but it’s shallow as a tide pool. I was sick of reading recipes and sick of hearing about gossipy Washington hotshots and their clichéd affairs, their bourgeois concerns. Everything seemed great at first. The first half of the book seemed hysterically funny, so I was tooling along, thinking this would be a 5 star. But then the story seemed repetitive and silly and it seemed to lose its juice. Or maybe I was just getting tired of it. And then there was the fact that she made a few politically incorrect comments about gays, Gentiles, and Hispanics. They weren’t major or belabored points(they really weren’t heinous), but they pretty much wiped the smile off my face for the time it took to read them. The only way I can accept this at all is because I realize she wrote this book long before everyone, including her, was getting their consciousness raised.My major complaint is that it reads like a journal, not a novel. In fact, the book is based on Nora’s divorce from the journalist Carl Bernstein, famous for his reporting of the Watergate scandal. The book is so autobiographical, Bernstein threatened to sue her after it was published. And surprise surprise, it’s written in first person. The storyteller, Rachel, sounds exactly like Nora in her essays, and it’s “look at me, aren’t I funny and smart and self-effacing, and in short, irresistible?” This is fine if she called the book a memoir, but she called it a novel. It doesn’t have the structural integrity of a novel. Actually it barely resembles a novel.The book rambles, takes detours. The writing is sloppy, like you’d find in journal entries. In places it’s hard to figure out if she’s talking about the present or the past. The characters aren’t developed and they don’t seem real or sympathetic.This book is so autobiographical it’s not even funny. The narrator, Rachel, says that her supposedly fictional mother uttered “take notes” on her deathbed. Ding ding! Haven’t I heard this quote somewhere before? Oh, yes, I heard it in Sister Mother Husband Dog: Etc., a 2014 memoir written by Nora’s sister, Delia Ephron. In her memoir, Delia mentioned that their mother uttered “take notes” on her deathbed. Matchy matchy! Nora took her mother’s exact words and planted them in this novel aka autobiography. Nora, an obedient daughter at least in this instance, followed her mother’s deathbed advice—she “took notes” even as her mother lay dying.Oh, and another big annoyance: the story is peppered with recipes. There’s even a list of the recipes listed at the back of the book (talk about autobiographical). I was pissed that I’d be zipping along, reading about her screwed-up marriage and I’d suddenly be interrupted by a recipe for bread pudding. If I had wanted recipes, I would have bought a cookbook.Nora also wrote the screenplay for the movie Heartburn. I saw it back in the 1980s when it came out, but of course remember nothing about it, other than Meryl Streep and Jack Nicholson played the leads. I’ve heard that the movie is way better than the book (the opposite of what you’d expect), and I plan to see it again soon.Despite being pissed off that this was a sloppily written memoir passed off as a novel, I did laugh. A lot. She is one funny woman. There were many hysterical little vignettes that prove she understood perfectly the absurdity of the human condition and could communicate it with pizzazz. But sadly, this book is a 3-star deal.

  • Rachel Smalter Hall
    2019-05-05 20:18

    Meryl Streep reading Heartburn on audio was EVERYTHING. I've been wanting to listen to this for ages, and I'm sooo so glad I finally did.Nora Ephron caught her husband cheating on her when she was seven months pregnant with their second child, and writing Heartburn is what she did about it. What is better than a jilted woman out for revenge on her cheating husband? A FAMOUS jilted woman with a publishing contract and razor-sharp pen.In Heartburn, the Rom-Com Box Office Ephron of Sleepless in Seattle and You've Got Mail is nowhere to be found. Instead we have the When Harry Met Sally Ephron with none of the lovey bits and basically just the sarcastic parts. She pulls no punches and spares not one of the real people on whom the "fictional" characters are based, least of all herself.Rachel, the main character, isn't exactly a likable character, and the book does have a handful of problematic moments from being a product of Reagan's rich white 80s, but oh man... She eviscerates her cheating husband and everyone else in their social circle, and it is SO. CATHARTIC. AND GREAT.And Meryl Streep is just perfect. Did I say that already? Because she is. She is perfect. She put as much character development, nuance, and comic timing into this audiobook as she has for any of her Oscar-winning screen performances. It honestly ruined all other audiobooks for me for a hot li'l minute. This has got to be one of the best audiobooks of all time.

  • Chelsey
    2019-04-28 20:22

    I love Nora Ephron. I really do. This is not a perfect book, but it was perfect for me right now. I laughed, was touched, jotted down quotes and was generally reminded why Nora is my go-to when I need something to cheer me up. I read a part of this before realizing Meryl Streep narrated the audiobook, so I downloaded it, and lay in bed most of today, reading my physical copy along with Meryl. This is a semi-autobiographical novel about Nora's time being married to her second husband, whom she found out was having an affair while she was pregnant with their second child. If anyone can turn a disastrous event like that into a witty, tender and often hilarious novel, it's Nora. And I loved it.

  • Alissa Patrick
    2019-05-22 17:29

    A funny premise but it fell slightly short for me. It almost felt like she spoke on a tape recorder and then just jotted down what she had said verbatim, instead of compiling it into concise thoughts. It was extremely jumbled and all over the place.Stars are for the audio being read by my spirit animal, Meryl Streep.

  • Vanessa
    2019-05-13 12:30

    A light fluffy easy read if you can call the topic of divorce "fluffy" I simply loved this story of a New York couple who are facing the effects of infidelity and are verging on a divorce. So many witty moments had me chuckling hard throughout, I'm actually sad that the book was so short. Ephron had an uncanny ability to turn ordinary thoughts and situations into comedy gold. I felt like reading this is better than therapy! There is something so warm and inviting in her writing style. Really enjoyed it. The title summed up the book perfectly. Heartburn the perfect euphemism for the word "divorce"

  • Syl
    2019-05-07 16:08

    Thoroughly enjoyed reading this story.Essentially the bitter pill of a failing marriage coated with sweet sour sarcasm and humor. Lots of food references and a few recipes thrown in.The protagonist is Rachel, a Jewish lady (she harps a lot about Jewish way of life, hence I too am mentioning it) with a toddler son, who at the beginning is 7 months pregnant with her second child and who has just got proof of her husband Mark's infidelity with Thelma, a not well loved family friend. Thelma has a very 'broad minded' husband, and that doesn't make things easy. Rachel ponders upon her life, her love, with lots of background detail about her friend circle. Was an enjoyable read, but if I were an unmarried damsel I would never have ventured into matrimony after reading this.

  • Carolyn F.
    2019-04-29 13:37

    AudiobookFirst off, Meryl Streep's narration was fantastic. She also starred in the movie but I don't know if this was before or after narrating the book. The movie almost exactly mirrored the book except for the Key Lime Pie scene which was all internal dialogue in the book and was spoken in the movie (I liked that she said it all out loud so I'm siding with the movie on this). Some parts had me tearing up on the train - it's so hard when you love someone and they don't love you anymore no matter what you do and you can't stop remembering the times when they did love you. I'm going to listen to more of Nora Ephron's books. I read a 197? New Yorker review of this book which said she added stories to this fiction book that she had already written about as actual events. I don't care. Both the movie and the audiobook were wonderful! 5 out of 5 stars.

  • trina
    2019-04-27 18:36

    perfectly in accordance with the peanut chorus on this one. book is funny, witty, clever, heartbreaking, and mouthwatering all at once. tackles the big questions like 'how do you make love stay?' and 'what is the best way to mash potatoes?' reads easily, lightly, but has a lot of emotional depth. of course i knew ahead of time that the book is mostly autobiographical, and that made it sad even as our main character cracked jokes and spun stories out of the truly shitty turn her life took when her husband declared his love for another in her seventh month of pregnancy. does not really ask 'why are men dogs?' as much as it should, but it seems that in the early 80's, women just kind of accepted that they are and will be. i love nora ephron's writing because she writes as if speaking to an old friend, and because she's so charmingly new york (which is code for jewish, according to her- but not, in this instance, 'cutely antisemitic', the way television producers used it in regards to our main character/nora ephron.)

  • Jennifer (aka EM)
    2019-05-07 19:35

    Look, it's not badly written, and often funny, and sometimes even a little poignant (although, I don't know how much that was enhanced by Meryl's acting - and she really did act this audiobook, which was a problem in itself). And it's a roman à clef, so it hardly seems fair to accuse it of being too blatantly autobiographical, or too "journal-ish", as many of the more negative reviews here on gr say. But I'll home in on two things that really bothered me.First, the humour is tremendously mean-spirited. I mean, Rachel is angry, yes, of course, but it's a really dishonest kind of anger veiled as humour: it's sarcastic and passive aggressive, which I suppose is understandable, but it's also just downright mean, and not just on Rachel's part. These people, all of 'em, are really MEAN. Case in point: the group therapy scene/robbery, and there are many other instances like it. This is a case of Ephron going for the good story, or the cheap joke, at the expense of humanity and compassion or any deeper reflection or insight about character - her own or any other. The irony here is that between the lines, because it's so autobiographical, and because she cites her therapist pointing out this very thing to her as a bit of a gargantuan flaw/blind spot, the reader knows this is not even an authorial choice. This is not Ephron building character, but revealing her own and others'; the real people behind the pseudonyms. No wonder Carl Bernstein wanted the movie stopped. In a novel where psychoanalysis comes up again and again, it's kind of telling - or something - that this is the general tone throughout. A related point is the racism, sexism and homophobia of the humour. So, okay, it was the late 70s/early 80s, but still ... ugh. And it's particularly difficult to read this kind of humour (there is, literally, a good ten minutes of a vignette in which the word 'dyke' is repeated about two dozen times) when one is conscious that it is being presented from a particular cynical, sophisticated, albeit self-acknowledged-as-bourgeois POV. These are the New Yorker-reading, consciousness-raising-session-attending, arugula-and-brie eating, psychoanalyzed political-intellectual elite of NYC/Washington of the 70s. I.e., Ephron thinks she can get away with it because she's hip; she's being self-deprecatingly ironic. Another ugh.And then, finally, there is the fact that I just can't stomach the presentation of marriage - or these kinds of marriages, maybe (?) - as the be-all/end-all state. I don't get these women, and their view of the role of women. I don't get the fat-phobia, the lookism, the heterosexism, the being constantly on the hunt for a man 'coz god forbid you're ever single for more than 10 minutes between your second and third marriage. I don't get, I never did get, believing one is over the hill at 30 or believing a woman without a man is an incomplete and pitiable creature.I simply can't get any foothold to this particular mindset and the way of living it spawns. I wasn't raised by a mother who expected me to meet those particular standards, or who put that kind of pressure on me - thank god. BUT: I had lots of friends whose mothers did, and lots who were attending university simply for that "MRS" degree; to find and marry a doctor or a lawyer, not to become one themselves. So I do remember it, the early 80s, and that mind- and soul-numbing culture gap when feminism was lying dormant and on life support between the idealism and political activism of the 60s/70s and the emergence of the third wave of the 90s. Revisiting it in Heartburn was a trip back in time; unpleasant, but blessedly short.I did like the recipes.Read at your own risk. And if you consume the audiobook, as I did, know that Meryl Streep -- the premier actor of our generation -- is far too good for audiobooks. Here, omg, she comes off as an over-eager 2nd year acting student auditioning for summer stock.

  • Susan Bybee
    2019-05-05 14:31

    I read this book when it first came out, and this is my first re-read in almost 30 years. As is usually the case, this was a very different book. I was really struck this time by how rich Mark and Rachel are. This time, I could really see the anger simmering below the surface. This time, fully aware of the novel as being a roman a clef, I was wondering who the real-life counterparts of some of the characters are. Still laugh-out-loud funny in places. There's never been a more withering, funny comment than Rachel's "the man could have sex with a venitian blind" I've spent years imagining such a thing. I also realized that I began eating and enjoying key lime pie because of this book. I thought it was because of a 1990 trip to Florida. Anyway, this book has held up great and I recommend it heartily.

  • Jessica Woodbury
    2019-05-11 18:20

    I think a good 60% of the Book Riot contributors have read this audiobook and raved about it so it was only a matter of time until I got to it. Streep reads it incredibly well (and gets a lot more to work with in the novel than in the only so-so movie version). And it's funny and enjoyable to spend time with Rachel. This isn't a terribly serious book about divorce, not one that will help you work through your own relationship problems, but it's a nice way to spend some time.

  • valpal
    2019-05-22 17:33

    Picked this up at the library after I heard of Nora Ephron's death and everyone was talking about this book. It was funny and a quick read. Three things I learned:1. Nora Ephron was very funny.2. Carl Bernstein is a dick.3. Smart women sometimes marry horrible men, even when they KNOW better.

  • Kaethe
    2019-05-11 18:37

    Heartburn - Nora Ephron  The hilarious comedy of a really bad break up, based on a true story. And proving that writing well is the best revenge. Library copy

  • Kimberly
    2019-05-11 16:17

    This was hilarious! On the face of it, it's sad and emotionally draining. And in the hands of anyone other than Nora Ephron, that's all that it would be. I mean, a story about a woman, who at seven months of pregnancy, finds out that her husband is cheating on her and her marriage is pretty much kaput, shouldn't be funny at all! But trust me, you will laugh out loud at some parts.I didn't realize until I reached the end of the fourth chapter that this was a novel. But in my defence, I recently read I Feel Bad about My Neck: And Other Thoughts on Being a Woman, and in it, Nora Ephron touches on the breakup of her marriage to Carl Bernstein. That episode in her life ended up being the basis of this book, Ephron's only novel. The beginning really mirrored her life, which is what led me to believe it was nonfiction. But I finally caught on that this wasn't really about Ephron as the main character kept calling herself Rachel Samstat. I guess truth really can be stranger that fiction!I listened to the audio version of this book which was narrated by Meryl Streep. She captured the tone and manner of Ephron so readily, I sometimes forgot that it was Streep's voice I was listening to and not Ephron's! Streep was excellent and I highly recommend listening to the book if you have an option.

  • Auntjenny
    2019-04-27 15:36

    I've always liked the movie based on this book. Meryl Streep, Jack Nicholson and a soundtrack by Carly Simon... what could be better than that? The book is very similar, although I would not necessarily say the book is better. Overall takeaway from the book: I found myself marveling at how CURRENT it felt. Fads really do happen first in New York, and much later for the middle of the country. Rachel, the narrator, talks about a pesto craze and I found myself thinking... back in the 70s, my parents had surely never even heard of pesto. They were eating Pizza Hut! Definitely no pesto or arugula. Also, all the talk about group therapy and riding subways and everyone having sex with everyone else. On the other hand, certain aspects felt dated. For example, Rachel is pregnant throughout the book, and yet she drinks a LOT. Wine. Bellinis, hard alcohol I think. Rachel also leaves her two year old son with the maid seemingly most of the time in the book, and unapologetic ally. In fact, the little boy is a very peripheral element of the plot. I think that's fine, actually-- I don't think our lives HAVE to be consumed by our children(and this little boy was clearly very loved), but today, in the midst of so-called "mommy wars" and "helicopter parenting" and the only good moms being SAHMs... this would not go over very well. They would say Nora Ephron was a terrible mother. (I looked it up-- her kids seem to have turned out just fine.) The book was based on actual events in her life, when she was married to Carl Bernstein (and boy, does he sound like a creeper.) One of the funniest parts of the book-- and one I really related to-- was a scene when Rachel is flying on an airplane with her two year old son, and he throws up all over her. She says the business men near her looked at her like she was a 14th century leper. Haha... yeah...been there.By the end of the book, the flippant feel gives way to a sadder tone. I think hindsight would say that Nora Ephron just married a guy who wasn't very good at being married.Sad to think that Ephron is no longer with us. I'll probably be reading more of her books in the future.

  • Barbara Rice
    2019-05-13 13:30

    By now we all know this is about Ephron's divorce from Carl Bernstein (whom I met once at San Francisco State University: she does not mention that he has terrible skin, but it's the only thing she doesn't mention). I don't know. It's like there isn't enough story here so she has to fill it out with the kreplatch story and charcters that never go anywhere (the lover who took huge bites out of raw onions; her maid who gave up men for Jesus) and the recipes. The recipes don't seem to have much to do with the plot. Well, except for the Key Lime Pie recipe (which I have made several times and is easy and delicious). But the others - mashed potatoes? salted almonds? - seem to just be filler while we're waiting around for the pie to get thrown. (By the way, the movie was terrible. Tedious... good God, was it ever.)

  • lola
    2019-05-02 20:26

    yo people don't know this but nora ephron in her early career had intersectionality DOWN. this was classist, racist, sexist, homophobic and tranphobic as hell. sorry nora! you got really really cool later, but this one was excruciating.

  • Maggi
    2019-05-06 16:32

    Nora Ephron was so flippn' funny. This book was written almost 30 years ago but it wears damn well. Rachel, a thinly disguised Nora, is going through a marital breakdown, and though you feel for her, you can't stop laughing:I had a list of what I wanted in a man. A long list. I wanted a registered Democrat, a bridge player, a linguist with a particular fluency in French, a subscriber to the New Republic, a tennis player. I wanted a man who wasn't bald, who wasn't fat, who wasn't covered with too much body hair. I wanted a man with long legs and a small ass and laugh wrinkles around the eyes. Then I grew up and settled for a low-grade lunatic who kept hamsters. At first I thought he was eccentric. And then I didn't. Then I wanted to kill him... I would imagine the plane crash and the funeral and what I would wear .. and how soon I could start dating after the funeral. She calls her husband's shopping at Bloomingdales with his paramour "the ultimate perfidy" and hopes she can find a man who is "genuinely eligible and self supporting who didn't mind a little cellulite." And who can't relate to the "settling" process? What settling process, you ask? You fall in love and you say to yourself, oh well, I never really cared about politics, bridge, French and tennis; and then you get married and it starts to drive you crazy that you're married to someone who doesn't even know who's running for president.Sorry, but I cant resist one more:There has been a lot written in recent years about the fact that men don't cry enough.. and it is generally believed that when little boys are taught that it is unmanly to cry, they grow up unable to deal with pain and grief and disappointment and feelings in general. I would like to say two things about this. The first is that I have always believed that crying is an overrated activity: women do entirely too much of it, and the last thing we ought to want is for it to become a universal excess. The second thing I want to say is this: beware of men who cry. It's true that men who cry are sensitive to and in touch with their feelings, but the only feelings they tend to be sensitive to and in touch with are their own.There are so many more, and I could go on and on, but read the book, even thirty years later, and you will wish Nora was still here with her pithy and honest observations about life and love. I wish she had been my friend.

  • Kats
    2019-04-24 15:11

    I think I was about a third into the book when the narrator's name was first mentioned in a conversation with the husband. Rachel. What?! I thought it was Nora!! Only then did I realise that this is not actually Nora Ephron's memoir but a novel dealing with someone's fictional marriage(s). It was great, though, and had it been a real memoir that would have been the icing on the cake and worth five stars. It's hard to explain how a book about infidelity, narcissistic husbands, political animals in DC and and the painful breakup of a marriage can be funny as well as interspersed with poignant truths about marriages, but Nora Ephron pulls it off. Meryl Streep's narration is absolutely perfect, and I'm sad the book only accompanied me for a couple of days on my errands and walks. This wife reminded me a bit of Meg Wolitzer's The Wife, possibly because they seem to be in the same generation (first married in the 60s or 70s), which is also worth a read if one enjoys marital breakdown stories. Apparently, I do. :-)

  • Bookkaholic Magazine
    2019-04-22 20:22

    (See our full review over at Bookkaholic.) This is the funniest book you’ll ever read about heartbreak and betrayal. It’s full of wry observations about the compromises we make to marry – and then stay married to – people who are very different from us. And it's one of celebrity chef Nigella Lawson’s favorite books ever: for its mixture of recipes and rue, food and folly. It’s a quick read, but a substantial feast for the emotions.

  • Danielle
    2019-05-19 19:12

    Loved this book. Contributed greatly to my delusion that I could be a writer because NE makes it look so easy to be brilliant and entertaining and wise all at once.