Heartbreak and Heartburn

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It’s been nearly twenty-five years since my second marriage ended, and twenty-two years since I finished writing the book you’re about to read, which is often referred to as a thinly disguised novel.

Nora Ephron is widely lauded as the queen of the chick flick but she’s so much more than that. She is witty, insightful, astute and strong and in Heartburn she delivers the perfect combination of survival and vengeance ­– detailing her husband’s affair in the form of ‘fiction’.

Rachel Samstat’s life is complicated. Not only is she seven months pregnant, Rachel is living in Washington (a place she’s never really taken to), is juggling a career as a food journalist with being a mother to two-year-old Sam and has just found out that she’s married to a man who is having an affair with incredibly tall woman called Thelma Rice.

Filled with pithy, honest observations on life, love and everything in-between, Heartburn is a fantastically entertaining read. Nora Ephron is everything I would ever want to be in a writer and then some! Her effortless ability to turn a reader’s emotions upside down within a few sentences is wizardry. This short tale of revenge, reconciliation and release is filled with humour and honesty – perfect for anyone who is feeling a bit lost or about to take on new challenges. Ephron has taken a moment in her own history, fictionalised it with reflection and made it magic.

Heartburn was written in the 1980s but it still felt fresh and relevant. We live in a world of edited, filtered, Photoshopped and staged images, surrounded by perfect portrayals of normal life and so the pressure that Rachel feels she has to be with Mark (the perfect ‘power-couple’) is just as relatable today. What Ephron expertly does within Heartburn is break down the barrier and fling back the curtain to reveal the reality (and sometimes humour) of human heartbreak. Even if everything is a-ok in the world of romance/work/home/leisure, I think we all need a little insight from Nora to bring the world back into perspective. She’s the dream!

4 star

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