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3.60  ·  Rating details ·  46,743 ratings  ·  5,073 reviews
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.

Paperback, 179 pages
Published May 1996 by Random House (first published 1983)
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Average rating 3.60  · 
Rating details
 ·  46,743 ratings  ·  5,073 reviews

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Nov 24, 2012 rated it liked it
This is one of those books that shows you how much a writer can get away with when they possess a strong voice. Heartburn is a fun novel about marital infidelity but it only hits one note. There's no depth or complexity to the story. Instead, it reads like a comedic monologue albeit a very enjoyable one, but still... I wanted more, no matter how many times I laughed or smiled to myself. ...more
Julie G
The night before I got married, my future in-laws hosted a rehearsal dinner for our wedding party and our out-of-town guests. When we gathered in the living room late in the evening to make a toast to our future marriage, one of the Brooklyn relatives came over and grabbed me by the shoulders and turned me to face everyone in the room. She then pointed dramatically to my future husband and said in a very loud voice, “You see him? You see this man you want to marry? Well, look at him now, honey. ...more
Jul 08, 2012 rated it it was ok
The week before Nora Ephron died, I happened to order this (used) book, which I've been meaning to read for quite some time since she referenced it often in her essays & interviews. Apparently I'm the only woman in America who thinks this is not particularly good.

Even the previous recipient had a note written to her on the first page that says as much: "...No woman's bookshelf should be without this!" Seriously? Well, maybe there's one other woman out there who didn't like it also, because that
like every normal seventeen year old, i spent my time reading witty novels from the 1980s about divorce.

and i had a good time doing it.

part of a series i'm doing in which i halfheartedly review books i read a long time ago
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/

I grew up with Nora Ephron. Her movies taught me everything I would ever need to know about having unrealistic expectations when it comes to matters of the heart . . .

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They made me laugh . . .

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And sometimes they even made me cry . . .

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That's why it's so hard for me to give this book such a low rating. But it's a low rating I must give because Heartburn just wasn't very good. I'll let Nora's own words do most of the talking
Aug 09, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: comic-novels
3.5 stars
“I married him against all evidence. I married him believing that marriage doesn’t work, that love dies, that passion fades, and in so doing I became the kind of romantic only a cynic is truly capable of being.”
The history and origins of this novel and the subsequent film are a matter of record. It charts the end of Ephron’s marriage to the journalist Carl Bernstein. The focus is Bernstein’s affair with Margaret Jay. The characters are very thinly disguised. In the book Ephron’s charact
Glenn Sumi
May 05, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was my second read of Ephron’s sole novel, a fictionalized version of how her high-profile marriage to journalist Carl Bernstein exploded in the public eye after he had an affair with someone while Ephron was seven months pregnant with their second child.

Some parts of the book have aged badly. Ephron’s alter ego, food writer Rachel Samstat, seems entitled, mildly racist and insensitive. Jokes about Guatemalan therapists, little people and the LGBTQ community read differently today than the
Paul Bryant
I don’t mean to put the boot into this slightly funny but not that funny wisp of a novel but there were two things about it which got my goat, and my goat was just standing around chewing on an old rusty tin without a thought for tomorrow when this book got it. The first was that this book is about a foodie, so she is forever going on about her food show on tv, her cookery books, and shoving in recipes, and using many words that I must assume refer to something people eat but I don’t know what t ...more
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

‘I think I was so entranced with being a couple that I didn’t even notice that the person I though I was a couple with thought he was a couple with someone else.’

Heartburn is Nora Ephron’s first and only novel, and this breaks my heart because I adored this story. Never did I think it so thoroughly possible to take a story about heartbreak and turn it into something so full of life and jest. Heartbreak is a devastating thing that we humans are forced to suffer throug
Sep 06, 2008 rated it really liked it
Just felt like laughing, so picked this book up to visit with again. Fave quote: "Show me a woman who cries when the trees lose their leaves in autumn, and I'll show you a real asshole." ...more
Barry Pierce
Heartburn is proof that oftentimes it isn't the story that matters, it's how ya tell it. ...more
Sophia Judice
All I have to say is FUCK MARK
HEARTBURN is a story about infidelity inspired by true life events, written with humor....and a side of recipes. It's told in a crazy mixed up way expressing feelings and thoughts of the protagonist and admittedly a story Nora Ephron needed to get off her chest.

Rachel Samstat is 38 and she writes cookbooks. While seven months pregnant with her second child, she finds out her second husband, like her first, is having an affair. And the worst part, he loves this woman and it's been going on for th

Jul 30, 2014 rated it liked it
Wince, wince. Ouch. How can I give my hero a 3? But oh, I must. I fell in love with Nora Ephron when I read her book of essays called I Feel Bad about My Neck: And Other Thoughts on Being a Woman. The love affair continued when I read another collection of essays called I Remember Nothing: and Other Reflections. She is a brilliant comedian, and her timing and delivery are perfect. She also wrote a great article about death and dying, which I continue to pass around to friends every chance I get. ...more
Rachel Smalter Hall
Meryl Streep reading Heartburn on audio was EVERYTHING. I've been wanting to listen to this for ages, and I'm sooo so glad I finally did.

Nora Ephron caught her husband cheating on her when she was seven months pregnant with their second child, and writing Heartburn is what she did about it. What is better than a jilted woman out for revenge on her cheating husband? A FAMOUS jilted woman with a publishing contract and razor-sharp pen.

In Heartburn, the Rom-Com Box Office Ephron of Sleepless in Sea
I've done a lot of cooking and cleaning today so I've finished this audiobook in one go. It's true, it was under 6 hrs, but at least it made time pass quicker.

This was narrated by Meryl Streep. The Meryl Streep. She did an OK job, although it wasn't the kind of delivery I was expecting - fast-talking Jewish New Yorker, that kind of accent.

Despite a few funny remarks and observations, a la, men want praise for clearing the table once, hoping never to have to do it again - which felt dated - there
Apr 03, 2013 rated it did not like it
yo people don't know this but nora ephron in her early career had intersectionality DOWN... with one twist. this was classist, racist, sexist, homophobic and transphobic as hell. sorry nora! you got really really cool later (?), but this one was excruciating. ...more
Gretchen Rubin
A re-read. Hilarious, thought-provoking novel based on her own experience with a divorce.
Aug 18, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have to admit that I had reservations about this one. I know the author wrote romantic comedies and I have a deep loathing of rom coms, so I was unsure how I would feel about this, lightly disguised, true story. It revolves around Nora Ephron's discovery of her husband's affair when she was seven months pregnant. What I discovered was a witty, poignant and moving novel, which made me so glad I never had to go through something so awful when I was pregnant with any of my children and equally gl ...more
Krista Regester
Jun 12, 2018 rated it liked it
Heartburn is unique in a sense… but also similar to every other “middle aged” affair read you might stubble across. Some of the most interesting passages are definitely the recipes that are thrown in throughout. I don’t think that any of the characters are even slightly likeable but I don’t know if they are meant to be! It’s a quick read and having Meryl Streep on the audio reading this to me was the absolute best.
Roman Clodia
Aug 27, 2021 rated it liked it
I married him against all evidence. I married him believing that marriage doesn’t work, that love dies, that passion fades, and in so doing I became the kind of romantic only a cynic is truly capable of being.

The quotation above shows the kind of stuff I loved in this book: the warmth, the heart-felt emotion, the smart paradox. Too bad, then, that the good was so diluted - by inane chatter about Rachel's crazy parents, by foodie adventures, by recipes (recipes!). I wish Ephron had stuck to t
Oct 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A light fluffy easy read if you can call the topic of divorce "fluffy" I simply loved this story of a New York couple who are facing the effects of infidelity and are verging on a divorce. So many witty moments had me chuckling hard throughout, I'm actually sad that the book was so short. Ephron had an uncanny ability to turn ordinary thoughts and situations into comedy gold. I felt like reading this is better than therapy! There is something so warm and inviting in her writing style. Really enj ...more
Jennifer (formerly Eccentric Muse)
Look, it's not badly written, and often funny, and sometimes even a little poignant (although, I don't know how much that was enhanced by Meryl's acting - and she really did act this audiobook, which was a problem in itself). And it's a roman à clef, so it hardly seems fair to accuse it of being too blatantly autobiographical, or too "journal-ish", as many of the more negative reviews here on gr say. But I'll home in on two things that really bothered me.

First, the humour is tremendously mean-sp
Jan 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites, 2016
I love Nora Ephron. I really do. This is not a perfect book, but it was perfect for me right now. I laughed, was touched, jotted down quotes and was generally reminded why Nora is my go-to when I need something to cheer me up. I read a part of this before realizing Meryl Streep narrated the audiobook, so I downloaded it, and lay in bed most of today, reading my physical copy along with Meryl.

This is a semi-autobiographical novel about Nora's time being married to her second husband, whom she fo
Aug 08, 2021 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Heartburn is a classic revenge novel. It was inspired by Nora Ephron's husband Carl Bernstein cheating on her when she was seven months pregnant with their second child.

Despite this grim backstory, Heartburn is consistently amusing and even has a few laugh out loud moments and some great one-liners.

Despite being true, some of it felt somewhat implausible and, whilst only 178 pages long, a lot of it felt superfluous. Still, it must have been very cathartic to write.


Aug 10, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019
Witty and often funny, but also much more bizzare than the movie adaptation, outdated and kind of sexist and racist.
"My mother taught me many things when I was growing up, but the main thing I learned from her is that everything is copy. She said it again and again, and I have quoted her saying it again and again. As a result, I knew the moment my marriage ended that someday it might make a book – if I could just stop crying. One of the things I’m proudest of is that I managed to convert an event that seemed to me hideously tragic at the time to a comedy – and if that’s not fiction, I don’t know what
Fiona MacDonald
"In the end, I always want potatoes. Mashed potatoes. Nothing like mashed potatoes when you're feeling blue. Nothing like getting into bed with a bowl of hot mashed potatoes already loaded with butter, and methodically adding a thin cold slice of butter to every forkful. Most people do not have nearly enough mashed potatoes in their lives, and when they do, it's almost always at the wrong time."

What a brilliant paragraph talking about potatoes! You can already see how funny Ephron is just from t
Mar 18, 2013 rated it it was ok
Meh. I was inspired to read a little Ephron after reading a recent NY Times article about her written by her son. And naturally, I chose this one, not for the biting humor, but because I really wanted to know what went down between her and Carl Bernstein. Apparently this book was her "revenge dish best served cold" and was so close to the truth that there were lawyers and restraints and all kinds of nonsense as a result.

Nora Ephron was brilliant in her belief that if you take a bad situation (l
May 19, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: audiobooks
A delicious book of love, betrayal, heart-break, adultery and marriage; complicated emotions interlaced with scrumptious food recipes told by Rachel Samstat, a heart-stricken cookbook author with a broken spirit. I stumbled upon this book while browsing an entertaining audiobook to kill time and I noticed it was narrated by Meryl Streep and I did not have any other reason to jump into it. The beautiful rom-com sound of her voice resonated with me, it felt like watching a movie with my eyes close ...more
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Nora Ephron was an American journalist, film director, producer, screenwriter, novelist, and blogger.

She was best known for her romantic comedies and is a triple nominee for the Academy Award for Writing Original Screenplay; for Silkwood, When Harry Met Sally... and Sleepless in Seattle. She sometimes wrote with her sister, Delia Ephron.

Articles featuring this book

A great audiobook can transport you to a different country (or planet), capture your imagination through a cast of voices, or keep you driving...
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“And then the dreams break into a million tiny pieces. The dream dies. Which leaves you with a choice: you can settle for reality, or you can go off, like a fool, and dream another dream.” 237 likes
“I look out the window and I see the lights and the skyline and the people on the street rushing around looking for action, love, and the world's greatest chocolate chip cookie, and my heart does a little dance.” 207 likes
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