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Heartburn

3.59  ·  Rating details ·  23,170 ratings  ·  2,820 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.

Seven
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Paperback, 179 pages
Published May 28th 1996 by Vintage (first published 1983)
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3.59  · 
Rating details
 ·  23,170 ratings  ·  2,820 reviews


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Roxane
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.
Nancy
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
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Tanya Burr
Jan 26, 2016 rated it liked it
I gave this book 3 stars, because although I enjoyed it, it's not a book I finished and instantly began recommending to everyone I know. It was a very quick read and I liked how unique it was with the comfort food recipes set within the novel. I thought it was clever and funny how Nora made light of a very sad situation...heartbreak.
Paul
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
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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 here so I
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Paul Bryant
Jun 01, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: novels
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
Sarah
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."
Bonnie
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 through,
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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.
Gretchen Rubin
A re-read. Hilarious, thought-provoking novel based on her own experience with a divorce.
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
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Debbie
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
Melissa
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
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Jennifer
"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 is."
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Vanessa
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
Chelsey
Jan 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016, favourites
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
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Veronique
Oct 16, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018, stars-3-5
3.5*

I’d heard of Nora Ephron before, mostly in relation to films, such as When Harry Met Sally, Sleepless in Seattle and my favourite You’ve Got Mail. This new edition from Virago finally gave me the chance to try her writing.

It is a very particular style, very 1980s New York, that resembles the dialogues between Harry and Sally (to give you an idea).
“Every so often I would look at my women friends who were happily married and didn't cook, and I would always find myself wondering how they did i
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Leona
Feb 02, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: chick-lit
This isn't a book you would recommend to anyone, but interestingly enough it's one that captures you from the first page until the very last. It's a wife's journey of self-reflection that helps her reconcile, and eventually move past her husband's serial cheating. The writing is outstanding, but I couldn't bring myself to give it more than 3 stars. It's just too depressing. If you're looking for an up-lifting book, this isn't it.
Alissa Patrick
Aug 09, 2016 rated it it was ok
A funny premise but it fell slightly short for me. It almost felt like she spoke on a tape recorder and then just jotted down what she had said verbatim, instead of compiling it into concise thoughts. It was extremely jumbled and all over the place.

Stars are for the audio being read by my spirit animal, Meryl Streep.
Laurie Reilly
Oct 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
I listened to this one, and it was read by Meryl Streep. How could you go wrong? It was hilarious!
Carolyn F.
Audiobook

First off, Meryl Streep's narration was fantastic. She also starred in the movie but I don't know if this was before or after narrating the book. The movie almost exactly mirrored the book except for the Key Lime Pie scene which was all internal dialogue in the book and was spoken in the movie (I liked that she said it all out loud so I'm siding with the movie on this). Some parts had me tearing up on the train - it's so hard when you love someone and they don't love you anymore no matt
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Em*bedded-in-books*
Thoroughly enjoyed reading this story.
Essentially the bitter pill of a failing marriage coated with sweet sour sarcasm and humor. Lots of food references and a few recipes thrown in.
The protagonist is Rachel, a Jewish lady (she harps a lot about Jewish way of life, hence I too am mentioning it) with a toddler son, who at the beginning is 7 months pregnant with her second child and who has just got proof of her husband Mark's infidelity with Thelma, a not well loved family friend. Thelma has a ve
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Chari
Mar 17, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019
3,5
Jennifer (aka EM)
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
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Lori  Rubin
Jul 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
4 1/2 Stars to Hearburn.

Rachel is a good writer who is 7 months pregnant with her second child. She spends her days trying to create the perfect 4 minute egg. Mark, her husband, is a journalist who writes columns for a major Washington DC newspaper. He often draws material from their lives as inspiration for his columns, which drives Rachel nuts.

Rachel soon discovers that Mark is in love with another woman. Worse still, the other woman is someone she strongly dislikes. The majority of the book i
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trina
perfectly in accordance with the peanut chorus on this one. book is funny, witty, clever, heartbreaking, and mouthwatering all at once. tackles the big questions like 'how do you make love stay?' and 'what is the best way to mash potatoes?' reads easily, lightly, but has a lot of emotional depth. of course i knew ahead of time that the book is mostly autobiographical, and that made it sad even as our main character cracked jokes and spun stories out of the truly shitty turn her life took when he ...more
Lola
Apr 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is a beautifully-written, moving, very funny book that, apparently, is a thinly-veiled biography zeroing in on Ephron's second marriage and her then-husband's affair. I was a little put off by the fact that this novel seemed more like a revenge piece and it made me feel almost voyeuristic to read it. Aside from that and Ephron's cringe-worthy portrayal of her cheating husband's therapist, Ephron was a gifted writer with no wasted words in this novel. This book is witty and often raw. It res ...more
lola
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.
Kimberly
Jul 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was hilarious! On the face of it, it's sad and emotionally draining. And in the hands of anyone other than Nora Ephron, that's all that it would be. I mean, a story about a woman, who at seven months of pregnancy, finds out that her husband is cheating on her and her marriage is pretty much kaput, shouldn't be funny at all! But trust me, you will laugh out loud at some parts.

I didn't realize until I reached the end of the fourth chapter that this was a novel. But in my defence, I recently r
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Susan Bybee
Jun 30, 2012 rated it really liked it
I read this book when it first came out, and this is my first re-read in almost 30 years. As is usually the case, this was a very different book. I was really struck this time by how rich Mark and Rachel are. This time, I could really see the anger simmering below the surface. This time, fully aware of the novel as being a roman a clef, I was wondering who the real-life counterparts of some of the characters are. Still laugh-out-loud funny in places. There's never been a more withering, funny co ...more
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Play Book Tag: Heartburn by Nora Ephron - 4 stars 2 17 May 08, 2018 11:37AM  
Play Book Tag: Heartburn by Nora Ephron ~ 3 stars 5 14 May 03, 2018 08:14PM  
2015 Reading Chal...: Heartburn by Nora Ephron (1983) 2 15 Aug 12, 2015 08:18PM  
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1,133 followers
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.
“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.” 221 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.” 186 likes
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