Heartburn: Book of the Month (October 2019)

By Megan Thomas

I get very stressed when I’m asked who my favourite author is – and I get asked it relatively often and never prepare an answer so it’s stressful often. My favourite book is Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte, but she only wrote one book and you can’t very well claim someone is your favourite author when they’ve only got one book. It just doesn’t seem genuine. The point of this ramble is that I think Nora Ephron is my new favourite author – and (for now) I’ve only read Heartburn. But I know.

Heartburn is lovely, charming, funny, poignant, observational, tragic – all those good adjectives that make for a good book. What really makes it sparkle is Nora Ephron’s writing. I’ve never felt so deeply connected, or related so profoundly, to a situation I have absolutely zero experience of.

It’s about Rachel – a cookbook writer (though she resists the label, because her writing is as much about the stories as the recipes), whose second husband confesses his love for someone else seven months into her pregnancy with her second child. Not all that much happens in terms of plot, but the emotional tug will have you turning over the last page in horror and then reading the introduction again and buying another Nora Ephron online ASAP. Or so I’ve heard.

It’s fiction, but from reading the introduction and about Nora Ephron in general, it’s mainly just fiction in that the characters have different names and she’s appropriated some of the funny bits from other people. If her name seems familiar and you’re sure you haven’t read her – she wrote When Harry Met Sally. That’s where it turned out I knew her name from. Hello and welcome to the Nora Ephron Unofficial Fanclub, I’m your president, Meg. 

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