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Heartburn (1983)

af Nora Ephron

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1,907768,940 (3.6)78
Fiction. Literature. Humor (Fiction.) HTML:

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.

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 souffl.

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Viser 1-5 af 76 (næste | vis alle)
...if I tell the story, I control the versio..I can make you laughand I would rather have you laugh at me than feel sorry for me..."

Written with warmth and humor, this is the story of the end of a very public marriage. Yes, some parts are dated, but Ephron had a lot of insight as to why women try to stay, and demonstrated courage in choosing to leave her cheating husband.

"I still love you, I thought...And in the meantime I'm getting out. I am no beauty, and I'm getting on in years, and I have just about enough money to last sixty day, and I am terrified of being alone, and I can't bear the idea of divorce, but I would rather die than sit her and pretend it's okay..."

It had me laughing out loud and welling up with tears... oh and great recipes interpersed within the story! ( )
  Chrissylou62 | Apr 11, 2024 |
I first read this novel a few years after it was first published, in the late eighties when I was a stay-at-home mother of three, ostensibly happily married, getting ready to return to college to finish my undergraduate studies after a decade at home. I found the story humorous and sad but was not all that invested in it. I wearied of the snarky thirtysomething Rachel Samstat, food writer and cookbook author, the story's protagonist, who became aware that her second husband was having an affair with someone in their social circle when she was seven months pregnant with Ms. her second child. I also recall reading at some time over the years that the story is loosely based on Ms. Ephron’s divorce from reporter/writer Carl Bernstein, who was having an affair with someone in their social set when Ms. Ephron was pregnant and who threatened to sue Ms. Ephron for defamation over the book.

Recently, searching through Audible, I noticed that Meryl Streep narrates the audiobook, so I decided to pull out my old paperback, buy the audiobook, and listen along to Ms. Streep as I read. Great move on my part. Since my initial reading, in addition to having been through a divorce myself and frequently lending my litigation skills to my firm's matrimonial practice for the past 15 years (and earning several degrees), I have gained a different perspective on marriage and divorce. And listening to Ms. Streep's narration was like being in the audience for a one-woman play. The expression and the voice changes for different characters were mesmerizing. One of my favorite dramatized scenes was when Rachel was visiting her mother, Bebe, in the hospital. I barely remembered that from my first read. I also now recognized the authenticity of Rachel's alternating heartbreak and fury, couched in biting wit. Yes, the characters are still dreadful people, but I understand and identify with the motivations more.

The novel successfully captures the various stages of betrayal, grief, anger, and reconstruction when a marriage implodes. Learning to forget the love you felt for the person who betrayed you, accepting there is nothing you can do to change it, and recognizing that you are the author of your response to it all. And Meryl Streep brings it all home with her narration.
( )
  bschweiger | Feb 4, 2024 |
Still as funny and wonderful as I found it many years ago. ( )
  fmclellan | Jan 23, 2024 |
As a fan of the films Ephron has written/directed, I knew I would probably like this as well. However, I did not expect to find myself quite as engaged or entertained as I was. Aside from the heavy use of a certain homophobic slur towards the end (1983 was a different time, after all), I feel like this was perfectly well-crafted with a story that is simple at it's core, but never bogged down by its flashbacks and personal anecdotes. I saw others point out how heavily autobiographical this- as someone who loves to hear other people's real life stories, I didn't mind how thinly veiled the autobiographical quality is. It has a witty voice that I can easily hear coming from the likes of Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks, but listening to the audiobook narrated by Meryl Streep was probably the best possible format I could've chosen to take in this book. I can't wait to read more books by Nora Ephron, as this is probably my favorite read of the year. ( )
  aywebster | Oct 26, 2023 |
Heartburn seems to me like one of those books that everyone else has read besides me. After a mention of Nora Ephron in the book I was previously reading (Park Avenue Summer by Renee Rosen), I thought it was high time that I dug it out. It’s a very funny read that I read in just over 24 hours.

The story is about the end of a marriage. And yes, it is very, very funny in places. In others, it’s painful and sad and occasionally it’s about the logistics of dismantling something that was meant to be forever. It’s not a deep look at all the feelings and problems, but it’s a fun read. Rachel is a food writer who is seven months pregnant when she finds out his husband has been having an affair with a tall, plain woman. It’s a jolt straight to the heart and Rachel takes off for New York. It’s a bumpy ride that involves family history and broken friendships (but overall, it’s still very funny).

Throughout the narrative are short recipes for a variety of foods (although no souffle, despite what the cover blurbs tell me). These sometimes worked for me, sometimes not. I understand that they are related to Rachel’s identity and food is a soothing mechanism for her, but sometimes they just pulled away from the story from me.

The story is generally quite funny overall despite the context, but it does get quite serious towards the end. It’s a sharp contrast to the earlier hilarity and mixed-up situations that Rachel finds herself in. Her soon to be ex, Mark, also steps up here from his endless searching for topics to write about in his column. I’m not sure whether it’s meant to redeem him in part, but it doesn’t last too long. Ephron takes any sympathy the reader might have felt for him and skewers it soon afterwards.
The whole story is brutally honest and not overly well structured – but given that Heartburn is what we would call autofiction these days, it has much more authenticity to it. It’s messy, full of bad decisions (think a drunken proposal before falling into a pond) and small wins, from the petty to the expensive. I liked Rachel’s voice – it’s rare to get a likeable character who remains that way despite full access to her thoughts and I enjoyed the revenge factor. Some of the story is quite dated in places (seriously, was paying for your plane ticket while on the plane a thing?!) and I still have no idea what a Cuisinart is because I’ve only ever known it as a brand of ice cream maker. Some attitudes to LGTBQIA people and the mentally unwell are also cringe inducing (and the long conversation about how one knows if a woman is a lesbian doesn’t really add to the plot). Other parts are an interesting look at history (do people still get mugged on the subway for their jewellery?).

Overall, this is a funny read – it’s not the be all and end all of literature, but it’s still good fun.

http://samstillreading.wordpress.com ( )
  birdsam0610 | Oct 18, 2023 |
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Nora Ephronprimær forfatteralle udgaverberegnet
Streep, MerylFortællermedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Wolff, EvaOversættermedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
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Fiction. Literature. Humor (Fiction.) HTML:

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.

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 souffl.

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