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Heartburn (VMC) Paperback – 8 May 2008

80 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Virago (8 May 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1844085171
  • ISBN-13: 978-1844085170
  • Product Dimensions: 12.6 x 1.4 x 19.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (80 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 6,210 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

I have bought more copies of this book to give to people, in a frenzy of enthusiasm, than any other...HEARTBURN is the perfect, bittersweet, sobbingly funny, all-too-true confessional novel. There is not a wrong word - about food, marriage, life, love, loss. (Nigella Lawson)

[Ephron] chatters up a storm, always on the verge of wisecracking up (Guardian)

Book Description

The autobiographical novel by Nora Ephron, Oscar-nominated screenwriter (When Harry Met Sally) and successful director (Sleepless in Seattle), is a bittersweet book about love and loss

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Kris on 19 Jun. 2007
Format: Paperback
Rachel Samstat is 30 something year old, Jewish, cookbook writer from The Bronx, who currently resides with the love of her life, Mark in Washington D.C. They have been together for almost 8 years and still act like they just met . The couple have a two year old son and another on the way.All is well

UNTIL

She accidently finds a love letter from her hubby's apparent girlfriend, and discovers they have been together for nearly a year, They have recently bought a townhouse, and he plans on filing for divorce and leaving Rachel for his Mistress as soon as their child is born.

She wants to works things out, but her husband makes himself scarce and refuses to talk about it. So they separate for a while.. and she basically goes on a quest to figure out what to do..She speaks with her best friend/shrink (think Dr.Phil)and other couples who have battled infidelity and survived.

It might like a bit of a downer, but its truly not, for two reasons.

1. Rachel is a chef and sprinkles comfort food recipes throught the book.The frozen Key lime pie was fabulous.

2.Sometimes she takes a break from the drama and just tells funny stories that make her laugh. My favorite one was about her weird,late, lush of mother who made even stranger casseroles, who once faked being dead ,because she wanted more attention from her spouse and children.

Other funny things included "The Jewish Prince Routine", and the chapter devoted to her nuerotic ex, hamster guy .
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Daisy on 3 Oct. 2009
Format: Paperback
This slim volume has everything going for it- every time I finish reading it I want to start all over again!

Nora Ephron has written and directed lots of films which could probably be classified at Rom Com or Chick Flicks: Sleepless in Seattle, When Harry met Sally, You've got mail, and more recently Julie and Julia. This book is more bittersweet. It is the story of the end of the marriage. It is funny, touching, beautiful and accurately observed. It is also interspersed with recipes that fit (mostly) into the narrative.

I love the way that Ephron digresses off into anecdotes about past marriages and odd friends. It is like having a conversation with a friend that you haven't seen in years.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By boingboing on 19 Sept. 2012
Format: Paperback
There's surely never a good time to tell your wife you've fallen in love with another woman, but Mark's timing is particularly poor. Rachel is seven months pregnant with his child and running around after their toddler when she comes across an inscription in a book from Mark's lover and realises what's been going on. Maybe she could have coped if it were just an affair - it wouldn't be the first time Mark had played away from home - but he seems almost relieved to be confronted so he can share with Rachel how much in love he is. To add insult to injury Rachel knows his new woman, Thelma Rice, and her husband.

Ephron's heroine Rachel is 38 years old, a cookery writer and minor local television celebrity, and Mark is her second husband, a syndicated columnist whose witty little articles drawing on funny things that happen to him and his friends and family are featured in 109 newspapers up and down the USA. Mark goes through life stealing the experience of others and making money by writing about it in witty ways. He struck me as a man whose only claim to personality is borrowed from others. Rachel is sure that she'll wake up one morning and he'll be back knocking on the door, saying it's all been a terrible mistake and he wants her back but as the book progresses she's forced to challenge whether it's ever worth taking back a cheating husband.

Being dumped isn't all bad; Rachel's suddenly allowed to fantasise about strangers on the Underground (even ones without a college education, even ones who might turn out to be muggers) and old flames flicker out of the woodwork to stake their claims for her in the post-Mark era.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Leela Attfield on 23 Aug. 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A great read - a light touch, sad and funny: what more could you want? Oh yes, and recipes, sixteen of them, because the narrator is a cookery writer who can't help chucking in the odd recipe at dramatic points in the narrative. Set in Washington and New York and on the shuttle between the two cities, this is the story of how the narrator's husband had an affair with a woman with an extremely long neck and a nose as long as a thumb, while said narrator was seven months pregnant with her second son. Nora Ephron lived through something similar; she cried, then laughed, then took her mother's advice that everything that happens to you is copy and she knew that some day it would make a funny book - which this most certainly is!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Simon Savidge Reads on 19 Aug. 2010
Format: Paperback
`Heartburn' is the tale of Rachel Samstat a journalist who has somehow become a name in cookery writing, which is why there are a fair few recipes spread out throughout the book. As we meet her she has not long discovered that her husband Mark has been having an affair with Thelma Rice, whilst Rachel herself is heavily pregnant. What's worse is that this doesn't seem to be a small bout of infidelity (can we really even forgive those?) but a relationship that has been going on for some time and doesn't look like either participant wants to give up. What follows is an incredibly vivid, occasionally incredibly funny and also incredibly emotionally raw, account of a woman coming to terms with her second unfaithful husband. At least this time, Rachel thinks, it isn't with one of her friends like the husband before.

I thought this book was brilliant and very clever. It could easily have become a very bitter tale, and in some parts there is rage and hurt, which simply slagged off men (which it sometimes does, though it also looks at women's faults too) and became a rather torturous read. Instead, whilst very much looking at the emotional side of it all and indeed the practicalities of the situation Ephron adds some humour. Even when the worst things happen to us we do still laugh at the most random of things, there is that saying `if you didn't laugh you'd cry' and Ephron clearly has this intention with this novel. She also introduces other couples and characters into the mix that add to the laughter, yet have their own tragedy such as Rachel's mother's madness, her father's marriages after and so on.

Many people say that `Heartburn' is actually a fictionalised version of Norah Ephron's marriage breakdown and divorce.
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