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on 10 February 2014
I've read the other reviews and I'm sorry that so many people are disappointed by the book, as for me, I loved it. Maybe its an American thing. Maybe its a New York thing. Maybe its even a Washington thing, but I found the bittersweet neurotic humour of the book to be spot on. Ephron takes a sad tale and finds the comic bits in it and creates magic. If you've ever had your heart broken, you can relate to the question that the main character asks, where did I go wrong? Rachel Samstat keeps asking that question but in the midst of her cooking up comfort food in the thick of the betrayal she fishes out the laughs. I found myself laughing out loud (very embarrassing on a bus) and reading the best parts to my husband. Who knew that cooked potatoes could be compared to the stages of a relationship?
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 25 December 2012
After her second marriage (to Carl Bernstein, one of the two reporters who unearthed Watergate) ended, Nora Ephron got her revenge by penning this short and thinly disguised account of their break up, turning herself into a food writer, Carl into a narcissistic journalist and the very tall woman that he had an affair with into a different very tall woman. She even gives him a fictional name that's quite similar to the name of the real Deep Throat who's identity he guarded so preciously.

Like Dorothy Parker, Ephron had a delightful way with words and she wan't afraid to take you on all sorts of diversions if there's a punchline at the end of them. As the story of a break-up, this doesn't account to a lot: husband has an affair, pregnant wife moves out, wife gives him another chance, realises he's a hopeless jerk and leaves him for good. Sorry if that's a spoiler, but it's all pretty laid out from the outset.

What makes this book worth reading are the witty one liners and entertaining stories. I get the feeling that there wouldn't be anywhere more fun to be than hanging out with Nora Ephron listening to her tell stories for an afternoon. Given that this is (sadly) no longer possible, this book is the next best thing.
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on 7 September 2017
You don’t have to be a woman to take to this book. You don’t have to be Jewish. I’m neither. You just need to know that a sense of humour is the best help through heartbreak. I shall never forget the kreplach story and am just about to heat my frying pan, if that’s what a skillet is, to create potatoes Anna. Just as soon as I’ve wiped the tears from my eyes.
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on 23 August 2012
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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on 16 April 2014
No-one knows how to hurt you most than the people you love best. I may not have been 7 months pregnant when my husband fell in love with someone else, but I was 52, he was 50, and "she" was 33, slim, blonde,- you know, your basic nightmare ...

But humour can be found in the darkest places; in another country and 30 years later I was experiencing the same emotions, finding myself in situations that would baffle, terrify and equally (eventually) amuse me. This is a lovely book, I think Nora Ephron would have been a simply lovely lady, and weeks later I still think about the book and smile.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 23 December 2012
Light, easy read ; a semi-autobiographical account of the author's discovery - while heavily pregnant- of her husband's affair.
It felt as if it would make a good situation comedy: the Jewish couple, their friends and family and home helps, their psychoanalysts, the narrator's Group being held up at gunpoint...
Bits of it were quite amusing. I liked the account of cheating husband trying to Do The Right Thing and coax his angry, pregnant wife back:
' "I love you", he said. He said it with the animation of a tree sloth. "I want you to come home", he said. "You belong at home."
"I'm not coming home if you're going to see her anymore", I said.
"I'm not going to see her anymore", he said....
And then Mark started to cry. Mark started to cry. I couldn't believe it. It seemed to me that if anyone was entitled to cry in this scene, it was going to be me; but the man had run off with my part. "I'm in a lot of pain", he said.'

Not up to the usual standard of Virago novels but passes the time agreeably enough.
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on 11 March 2015
Heartburn is about, in no particular order, Jewishness, being a New Yorker, sex, marriage, love, infidelity, and betrayal. It is funny, witty, and, where Ms Ephron chooses it to be, wise. It is very well written.
However, it is not memorable. The humour is unrelenting. Oh, for just one serious chapter!
Not only is Heartburn about the breakup of a marriage, it is based on the breakup of one of Ms Ephron's own marriages. Give us the humour by all means but I for one would have appreciated more than that.
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on 3 February 2015
This is my first Nora Ephron book- When I read it I'd just found out that my partner had been unfaithful- the aftershock of realising that my relationship had been something a lot different to what I'd imagined it to be meant I could really relate to the main character Rachel's feelings-it made me laugh sometimes during what seemed like endless days of crying- made me find hope when everything looked bleak and in the end made me feel that I could start again- for that reason I give it 5 stars!!!!
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on 26 September 2017
I understand that this is based on Nora ephron's marriage to Carl Bernstein and I do wonder if I might have enjoyed an autobiography more. It's amusing and entertaining and gives a real flavour of the huge differences between New York and Washington. Great fun.
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on 5 February 2014
This book feels very much of the period when the TV programme Friends was new - the particular style snappy one liners, humorous self deprecation and oh-so-clever observations very much date the book. It's not to say it's not enjoyable, and everything is inevitably of its era of origin, but when a book lacks any kind of substance the style becomes much more noticeable. I'd have loved this in 1996 but some books last beyond their time and some don't and this doesn't. A holiday read but a quick one.
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