Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Heartburn (Ephron) 422

Originally published in 1983, Heartburn is definitely one of the more modern VMCs. In fact, in many ways I felt that it read like a book of the 1990s. It is the story of Rachel, a cookery writer, living in New York, who discovers that her husband is having an affair when she is 7 months pregnant. The book describes her experiences, and includes recipes and analysis of her life and marriage.

What is interesting about this book is the author, and the strongly, but not entirely autobiographical nature of the book. Ephron is more famous as being the screenwriter of When Harry met Sally and Sleepless in Seattle, and in some ways I felt that this could easily make a good film in the rom-com genre. In the introduction, she states that the book, which reads like an autobiography, is actually pretty fictitious - although her husband did leave her, she was never a food writer and most of the characters are fictional. She says:
"Furthermore I left out a lot of what happened, but I never get credit for this, especially from my second husband, who ought to be grateful that I did".

I found this book entertaining and sharp and a nice account of life in New York.

Originally published in green, I picked up the more recent edition when I was in Foyles in August with Paperback Reader. She pointed it out to me, and I'm glad she did because it presented such a contrast to the other VMCs that I've been reading so far.


  1. I have another edition to the ones pictured; it's modern but looks like a 1950s advertisement.

    Nora Ephron actually made a film of this starring Meryl Streep (who also starred in her adaptation of Julie & Julia) and Jack Nicholson.

    I will be reading this soon. I found the autobiographical basis fascinating, especially as the husband in question is Carl Bernstein, of Watergate fame.

  2. I love this book, it was recommended to me by a friend, and I have continued her good work by lending it to, or buying it for anybody I think would read it. I'm looking forward to your thoughts on 'Confessions of a Failed Southern Lady' when you get to it, I think it's kind of the same vein of Virago's.

  3. I enjoyed the book a lot, and got some great recipes from it. :<)