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Summer Reading | Heartburn

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Nora Ephron (photo via here)

Nora Ephron (photo via here)


Lately I have been rather absent from this blog. A storm damaged roof and more bad weather have kept me quite busy. Not much time for knitting or reading either.

I was lucky enough though to stumble across Nora Ephron’s novel Heartburn which proved the ideal antidote to stress and worries. It is the fictionalised account of her husband’s, acclaimed journalist Carl Bernstein’s affair and the subsequent breakdown of her marriage. When Ephron was seven months pregnant with their second child.

The instances of grievous pain are spun into comedy, which makes Heartburn a great novel, rather than simply a great revenge novel. It is both poignant and laugh-out-loud, agonisingly funny. Her husband, “Mark”, she describes as “a man who would have sex with a Venetian blind”, and his lover, the preposterously named Thelma Rice, as “a person who was not only a giant but a clever giant”, and who moreover makes “gluey puddings” (Ephron’s heroine, Rachel Samstat, is a food writer, and as was the author, a notably good cook).

9781844085170[1]My mother taught me many things when I was growing up, but the main thing I learned from her was that everything is copy. She said 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 is not fiction, I don’t know what is.

(From the Nora Ephron’s 2004 Introduction to the VMC edition)

If you haven’t yet read it, I can warmly recommend it.

What also made me smile was this lovely music. Enjoy. And have a very good weekend. I hope the sun is out where you are.




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