Friday, June 21, 2024

Beginning ~ with making a joke


The first day I did not think it was funny.  I didn't think it was funny the third day either, but I managed to make a little joke about it.

Heartburn ~ by Nora Ephron, 1983, fiction, 179 pages (252 pages in large print edition)

This is Nora Ephron's first novel.  The Chicago Tribune said it "memorably mixed food, heartbreak, and revenge into a comic masterpiece."  

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.  In this inspired confection of adultery, revenge, group therapy, and pot roast, the creator of Sleepless in Seattle and When Harry Met Sally, 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.


Mark Baker said...

I definitely can identify with that opening.

Lauren Stoolfire said...

I've never tried her work before but I think I'll have to try it in the future.

Karis DeHaven said...

I love Nora Ephron's essays! I didn't love Heartburn, though. Mostly it just left me feeling sad. I hope you enjoy it!