Made me laugh out loud - parts are so ridiculous, yet true-to-life. For every woman who has ever had a difficult or failed relationship. Like your best girlfriend is telling you a story over a glass of wine!
Review first published on my blog: http://memoriesfrombooks.blogspot.com/2013/10/heartburn.html
Rachel Sampstat is a cookbook author, a wife, and her mother. Mark Feldman is a syndicated columnist and Rachel's husband. The book begins as Rachel, seven months pregnant, learns that her husband is having an affair and has been for several months.
What ensues through the rest of the story are different reflections on relationships through Rachel and Mark's stories and the stories of the couples around them. What keeps people together? What drives them apart? Can you move beyond a betrayal like infidelity?
The emotions and complicated relationships in this book are real life - sometimes clear and sometimes a jumbled mess. Some parts of the book are funny, but to me, the sadness emerges more so than the humor.
The book's pace is somewhat frantic. To me, it adds to the sadness, leaving an impression of "if you run fast enough, you can outrun your own emotions". Written from Rachel's point of view, the book seems to flit between her varied thoughts and sometimes goes in all different directions - her first marriage, her husband's infidelity, the Washington DC political scene, friends, recipes, her parents, and other things. Sometimes it is like following a really long monologue without any given thread becoming fully developed.
This book was made into a movie starring Meryl Streep and Jack Nicholson. Usually, I prefer the books over the movies. With that cast and the nature of the story, this one may be better as a movie. I guess I will have to watch and decide.
Okay, so I'm a little late to the party (this book was published in 1983) but the subject matter remains contemporary and the emotions the main character goes through are "spot on" in 2011. I have never seen the movie, but with Jack Nicholson and Meryll Streep, I'll bet it's great. I enjoyed the book, and would pick up another one from this author. It ran a bit long at times, but all in all a good read.
DreamSE22 reviewed Heartburn (Vintage Contemporaries) on
Helpful Score: 1
This book was very enjoyable, although dated. Now I'm ready to watch the movie with Jack Nicholson and Meryl Streep! :) Ephron's voice and personality were quite apparent and I've always liked her humor. There were several laugh-out-loud parts throughout the book, especially when she was talking about how one of her friends brew coffee and it tastes like spicy feet. :) This was also one of the earliest fiction books I have ever read with recipes incorporated into the story. The book was a fast read so I didn't dwell too much on thinking about it past the fact that I enjoyed my time with it.
I recommend this book for a quick fun read. Since I have seen most of Nora Ephron's movies multiple times I could recognize lines from this book in her later movies, that's okay since they are pretty funny lines. Nora fictionalizes her divorce but it isn't really a depressing read because Nora (the character Rachel) doesn't really feel too sorry for herself. As long as there is a good story to tell Rachel feels her husband's affair while she is pregnant isn't that bad, she will survive on food and fodder. Looking forward to make a key lime pie from the included recipes.
I love this book. Even though the main characters' marriage is breaking up, and she is heavily pregnant, the story is funny as all get out. A foodie will LOVE the food descriptions, food philosphies, and bonus recipies. It has great one liners, and if random humor cracks you up, this is the book for you.
Have enjoyed Nora Ephron's books, mostly her essays. This storyline was so hard for me to accept. Cheating husband would be out on his butt! I don't understand spouses who tolerant lying and cheating. But I enjoyed her writing style, and will definitely try some of the recipes.