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3.58  ·  Rating Details  ·  10,020 Ratings  ·  1,341 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 28th 1996 by Vintage (first published 1983)
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Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at:

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
Jul 09, 2012 Nancy 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
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,
Tanya Burr
Jan 26, 2016 Tanya Burr 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.
Sep 09, 2008 Sarah 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."
Jan 30, 2016 Chelsey 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
Mar 19, 2013 Melissa 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
Jan 24, 2015 Debbie 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
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
Susan Bybee
Aug 01, 2012 Susan Bybee 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
Aug 26, 2015 Kats rated it really liked it
I think I was about a third into the book when the narrator's name was first mentioned in a conversation with the husband. Rachel. What?! I thought it was Nora!! Only then did I realise that this is not actually Nora Ephron's memoir but a novel dealing with someone's fictional marriage(s). It was great, though, and had it been a real memoir that would have been the icing on the cake and worth five stars.

It's hard to explain how a book about infidelity, narcissistic husbands, political animals i
Dec 15, 2012 Maggi rated it really liked it
Nora Ephron was so flippn' funny. This book was written almost 30 years ago but it wears damn well. Rachel, a thinly disguised Nora, is going through a marital breakdown, and though you feel for her, you can't stop laughing:
I had a list of what I wanted in a man. A long list. I wanted a registered Democrat, a bridge player, a linguist with a particular fluency in French, a subscriber to the New Republic, a tennis player. I wanted a man who wasn't bald, who wasn't fat, who wasn't covered with t
Bookkaholic Magazine
Sep 15, 2013 Bookkaholic Magazine rated it really liked it
Shelves: general-fiction
(See our full review over at Bookkaholic.) This is the funniest book you’ll ever read about heartbreak and betrayal. It’s full of wry observations about the compromises we make to marry – and then stay married to – people who are very different from us. And it's one of celebrity chef Nigella Lawson’s favorite books ever: for its mixture of recipes and rue, food and folly. It’s a quick read, but a substantial feast for the emotions.
Nov 24, 2012 Roxane 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.
Aug 08, 2012 valpal rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Picked this up at the library after I heard of Nora Ephron's death and everyone was talking about this book. It was funny and a quick read.
Three things I learned:
1. Nora Ephron was very funny.
2. Carl Bernstein is a dick.
3. Smart women sometimes marry horrible men, even when they KNOW better.

Jun 27, 2012 Danielle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: just-fun
Loved this book. Contributed greatly to my delusion that I could be a writer because NE makes it look so easy to be brilliant and entertaining and wise all at once.
Mar 14, 2015 Ubiqua rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nora Ephron, sceneggiatrice e regista di alcune famosissime commedie sentimentali (Harry ti presento Sally, C’è post@ per te e molte altre) pubblica Affari di cuore nel 1983. La vicenda è autobiografica, ma il romanzo è di fiction: la protagonista si chiama Rachel, somiglia a Nora Ephron ma non è lei, e si rimane sempre all’interno dei codici della finzione lasciando da parte quelli di non-fiction, memoir etc. Rachel, voce narrante, è un’autrice di libri di cucina, spesso inserisce brevi ricette ...more
Jan 02, 2014 Auntjenny rated it really liked it
I've always liked the movie based on this book. Meryl Streep, Jack Nicholson and a soundtrack by Carly Simon... what could be better than that? The book is very similar, although I would not necessarily say the book is better. Occasionally that happens, i.e. I liked the movie Wonder Boys better than the book. Maybe simply because it is hard to relate to rich Jewish people living in New York, as I am not Jewish and definitely not rich and I've never even been to New York. The movie kind of whitew ...more
Jen A.
Jun 30, 2012 Jen A. rated it really liked it
Shelves: re-read, 2012
Reading this book for school came along at just the right time -- I don't remember the dates, but I was either about to or just had ended a relationship that just wasn't working out. I was ending a relationship in which I'd played the role of Rachel Samstat -- hanging on for too long, waiting for a good "reason" and trying so hard NOT to be the reason that things just didn't work out. I remember that this book resonated with me then, and drove me to write this essay response in class (below). He ...more
Feb 22, 2011 Jennifer rated it liked it
Heartburn tells the story of a woman while in her second marriage realizes that her husband has been having an affair while she is seven months pregnant. It is stated at the start of this book that this story is not entirely fiction and her now ex husband went to the extreme of having a court order put against Nora Ephron to ensure she could not write about him or their children again.
I can think of no better revenge then to tell the story to the world about how he betrayed her. But this book a
Jan 11, 2015 Gail rated it it was amazing
I'll be honest and say right off the bat I'm giving this five stars because I listened to it on audio and well, it was read by Meryl Streep. So, of course it's basically five hours of performance art (that makes me want to watch her star in the 1986 film). After I finished, I thought, "Well, that's it ... I just ought to give up on audiobooks now...nothing will be better than that."

Had I just read Heartburn, it would probably be more like a four-star read, but overall, it's still a brilliant bur
Barbara Rice
By now we all know this is about Ephron's divorce from Carl Bernstein (whom I met once at San Francisco State University: she does not mention that he has terrible skin, but it's the only thing she doesn't mention).

I don't know. It's like there isn't enough story here so she has to fill it out with the kreplatch story and charcters that never go anywhere (the lover who took huge bites out of raw onions; her maid who gave up men for Jesus) and the recipes. The recipes don't seem to have much to
Aug 21, 2015 Jenice rated it liked it
Shelves: audio
This was read by the fabulous Meryl Streep. I guess if you are Nora Ephron you get to have fabulous people read your book. And Meryl was, well, fabulous. She read it the way I would have read it, you know with the voice in my head. No overacting, no goofy male voices, no silly female voices. Just perfect.

As for the story, I was expecting fabulous as well. This is Nora Ephron after all. The writer of "When Harry Met Sally", "Sleepless in Seattle", "You've Got Mail", and many other great screen pl
Jun 18, 2014 Christine rated it liked it
Shelves: 2014-reads
Rachel Samstat is seven months pregnant with their second child when she learns that her husband, Mark Feldman has been having an affair. As she says herself, “The first day I did not think it was funny. I didn’t think it was funny the third day either, but I managed to make a little joke about it. ‘The most unfair thing about this whole business’ I said, ‘is that I can’t even date.’” That pretty much sets the tone for the whole book. Through her reminiscences we meet Rachel’s family, friends, f ...more
Feb 25, 2014 christa rated it liked it
In the late 1970s Nora Ephron was Gawker fodder, married to Watergate journalist Carl Bernstein and pressing the flesh with all sorts of DC biggies. They had one son and another in the oven when she discovered that (insert too easy Deep Throat reference to indicate he was having an affair).

So she did exactly what you would expect one of the characters in her rom-coms to do: She threw a key lime pie in the philanderer’s face. Then she turned what was probably a cesspool of suckitude into the com
Feb 11, 2013 Leigh rated it really liked it
I love Nora Ephron. She just talks and talks (because that it what her writing sounds like, someone just talking to you) and her sentences sound a lot like the thoughts that run through your own head, but you dare not let out of your mouth. She is so incredibly funny and I imagine she would have made an excellent friend.

It doesn't bother me that her sentences run long and that her thoughts ramble all over the place. (Mine do too!) It doesn't bother me that she goes off on tangents that have noth
Kelly Hager
Aug 12, 2012 Kelly Hager rated it really liked it
This is shelved as fiction but is pretty much the account of how her second marriage (to Carl Bernstein) ended in pretty spectacular fashion. He cheated on her when she was pregnant with their second child.

There's a lot to love in this book but my favorite part is at the very end when she talks about how her therapist says, "Why do you have to turn everything into a story?"

And she says (and I'm paraphrasing) that when she does that, she can control the story. And, what's even more important, is
Surprised to see a character in the book is a dog names Pepito, because my dog is also named Pepito. How funny.

Love this quote:

That's the catch about betrayal, of course: that it feels good, that there's something immensely pleasurable about moving from a complicated relationship which involves minor atrocities on both sides to a nice, neat, simple one where one person has done something so horrible and unforgivable that the other person is immediately absolved of all the low-grade sins of slo
Aug 12, 2009 Molly rated it liked it
Nora Ephron's new movie, 'Julie and Julia,' rode into its nationwide opening last weekend on a such a wave of publicity I'm almost too tired of all the Ephronmania to mention anything about her here. But I just read 'Heartburn' and I liked it a lot more than I thought I would. I liked it so much that I lay in bed after finishing it and thought, "Three stars? Four stars? Three stars? Four stars?" I decided on three, but it's really a three-and-a-half. And it's almost a four.

It's a sassy, funny re
Jenny (Reading Envy)
Jul 12, 2013 Jenny (Reading Envy) rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jenny (Reading Envy) by: Eric Rabkin
This is Nora Ephron's first novel, and I imagine her death reinvigorated interest in her oeuvre. I had not read any of her books, but of course You've Got Mail and Sleepless in Seattle rank in my top ten movies of all time, and I never ever get tired of them. Ever. (So now you know my guilty pleasure!) This book also became a movie starring Meryl Streep and Jack Nicholson, which I will be watching this weekend.

When I saw that Random House Audio was releasing this on audio with Meryl Streep as th
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2015 Reading Chal...: Heartburn by Nora Ephron (1983) 2 13 Aug 12, 2015 08:18PM  
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Nora Ephron was an American 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.
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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.” 187 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.” 145 likes
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