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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 months into her pregnancy, Rachel Samstat discovers that her husband, Mark, is in love with another woman. The fact that the other woman has "a neck as long as an arm and a nose as long as a thumb and you should see her legs" is no consolation. Food sometimes is, though, since Rachel writes cookbooks for a living. And in between trying to win Mark back and loudly wishing him dead, Ephron's irrepressible heroine offers some of her favorite recipes. "Heartburn" is a sinfully delicious novel, as soul-satisfying as mashed potatoes and as airy as a perfect soufflé.

182 pages, Paperback

First published January 1, 1983

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About the author

Nora Ephron

72 books2,058 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.

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5 stars
11,130 (20%)
4 stars
18,859 (34%)
3 stars
17,726 (32%)
2 stars
5,366 (9%)
1 star
1,361 (2%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 5,984 reviews
Profile Image for Roxane.
Author 118 books157k followers
November 24, 2012
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.
Profile Image for Julie G .
883 reviews2,743 followers
June 21, 2019
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. Look at him and think of every bad habit he has, because whatever he does. . . snores, farts, lies, cheats. . . he will continue to do that, and he'll do it even more. Every bad habit he has, he'll do it the same or more, so don't marry him unless you accept that you're marrying the bad behavior, too.”

I did marry him, and I don't regret it, but, as much as I hate to admit it, the old bitch from Brooklyn was right. Your partner's bad habits do NOT change, and they do, in fact, continue at the same level or increase.

Nora Ephron, the writer of Heartburn, must not have had an annoying relative from Brooklyn to scare her straight. She married three different men, and, if you read her bio or some of her essays, you'll realize quickly that she was gung-ho about getting married, but never quite figured out the secret to staying married. She also seemed to choose men, over and over again, who couldn't keep their hands off of women who weren't their wives.

Nora Ephron was married to her first husband, then divorced after 9 years. She then married her second husband, the famous journalist, Carl Bernstein, and their marriage produced two children but ended badly after she discovered he was having an affair with another woman. She married a third man. . . but that's another story.

Rachel Samstat, the protagonist of Heartburn, was married to her first husband, then divorced after 9 years. She then married her second husband, the journalist Mark Feldman, and their marriage produced two children but ended badly after she discovered he was having an affair with another woman.

Get it?

This book is so autobiographical, Nora Ephron's ex-husband almost sued her over it.

But my problem wasn't the autobiographical piece.

The nuts and bolts are here. . . the cold, hard facts, the character “sketches,” but Nora Ephron was a journalist and a screenwriter, not a writer of literary fiction.

To be honest, this book was a crying shame for me. It could have been SO much more than it is. I wanted to jump in and rewrite passages. I wanted to jump in and make these characters feel more real.

Why/how is it funny that Rachel is too messed-up to pick a faithful man, and why is it written as an unfunny comedy routine? Occasionally there was true feeling here, but then POOF, it was gone.

I felt like the whole novel was written by a nervous Pomeranian dog.

Ephron's story inspired a good movie by the same name (the screenplay written, of course, by Nora Ephron), and an excellent soundtrack by Carly Simon, the title track being Coming Around Again. So, all is not lost.

But, frankly, this "novel" gave me heartburn.
Profile Image for Nancy.
404 reviews
July 9, 2012
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 woman gave it away to Amazon... And left a McDonald's receipt ca. 2007 for a grilled chicken salad she ate in Sarasota, Florida.

Loosely based on her middle marriage falling apart-- when her husband (real-life Carl Bernstein) left her pregnant for another woman--Ephron's first person story screams of the early 1980s it was written in.... Lots of (now-) weirdly inappropriate gay/lesbian references, an overly-harsh rejection of Washington, DC as a city (not just the politics), and a wacky acceptance of bourgeois people cheating on their spouses. How can Rachel, the protagonist, claim she is a liberalized New York-y woman if she keeps going back to her husband who cheats on her? Because she's a cheater also? (apparently.) I don't get it. Ephron's character, Rachel, is generally unlikable. (I never liked Sally from "When Harry met Sally" either).

Fortunately this book is only 178 pages. I gave Ephron an extra star only because I miss (most of) her.
Profile Image for emma.
1,825 reviews48.3k followers
March 6, 2022
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
Profile Image for Kelly (and the Book Boar).
2,447 reviews7,540 followers
January 8, 2015
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 don't have to, but to briefly summarize the plot - this is a fictional accounting of the actual demise of Nora Ephron and Carl Bernstein's marriage. According to the blurb it is sidesplittingly funny. In reality?

"Not that this book has an enormous amount of plot, but it has more plot than I've ever dealt with before. My other books just meander from one person to the next, whereas this one has a story with a beginning and an end."

Well, in theory it has all of that, but in all actuality Heartburn reads like a rambling, frantic journal entry rather than a well thought out novel.

Entries such as the following:

"Sometimes I believe that love dies but hope springs eternal. Sometimes I believe that hope dies but love springs eternal. Sometimes I believe that sex plus guilt equals love, and sometimes I believe that sex plus guilt equals good sex. Sometimes I believe that love is as natural as the tides, and sometimes I believe that love is an act of will. Sometimes I believe that some people are better at love than others, and sometimes I believe that everyone is taking it. Sometimes I believe that love is essential, and sometimes I believe that the only reason love is essential is that otherwise you spend all your times looking for it."

would be pretty damn striking and memorable if the book weren't filled with schizophrenic rants such as these.

I'm pretty sure writing Heartburn was a much needed therapeutic experience for Nora Ephron. She says herself:

"Because if I tell the story, I control the version. If I tell the story, I can make you laugh, and I would rather have you laugh at me than feel sorry for me. Because if I tell the story, it doesn't hurt as much. Because if I tell the story, I can get on with it."

I believe she did, in fact, need to write this story . . . but I feel like she needed to do it for herself and it didn't necessarily need to be published.

Now the movie????

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One of my favorites. This is one of the rare cases (yep, I'm still looking at you Winston Groom and your pitiful excuse for a story that was the print version of Forrest Gump) where the movie was better than the book. Meryl Streep and Jack Nicholson had such great chemistry, there was a lot of humor that I felt the book was missing, and Jack played his role so well it was easy to see how even though Carl Mark was a total shit Nora Rachel could want to fight in order to stay in love and married to him. Nora Ephron was a great writer of film and the movie version of Heartburn proves it.

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Profile Image for Glenn Sumi.
404 reviews1,531 followers
March 26, 2022
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 they must have back in 1983, when the book came out. (I had the same problems with the final essay in her collection Crazy Salad: Some Things About Women.)

All that aside, what I love about this book is Ephron’s inimitable voice: wise, knowing, funny. Just as in her journalism – I’ve read all five of her collections – her prose is conversational and chatty, with a casual tone that must have taken lots of work to achieve. Whenever I find my own writing get clumsy and cluttered, I pick up an Ephron book and admire the clarity and efficiency of her sentences.

While this book wanders around, taking way too many detours and offering up characters who aren’t well fleshed out, it still contains lots of wisdom about life, love and marriage. There’s a reason why Ephron wrote several screenplays and essay collections but only one novel. She’s not much of a fiction writer.

She’s always, always entertaining, however. There is a passage late in the novel when a distraught Rachel gives birth to her second child that is so poignant it made me tear up. And I love the digressions about food (the book comes with recipes), New York vs. Washington and friendship, all leading to a simple but profound conclusion.
Profile Image for Paul.
1,178 reviews1,935 followers
August 9, 2017
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 character (Rachel) explains to her therapist why she is writing about it;
“Vera said: “Why do you feel you have to turn everything into a story?”
So I told her why:
Because if I tell the story, I control the version.
Because if I tell the story, I can make you laugh, and I would rather have you laugh at me than feel sorry for me.
Because if I tell the story, it doesn’t hurt as much.
Because if I tell the story, I can get on with it.”
Ephron was seven months pregnant when she discovered the affair; the novel charts her reactions and those of her husband. The book is full of one-liners, many of them very funny, some of them later finding their way into the script of “When Harry Met Sally”. The comment about her husband being the sort of man who could “have sex with a Venetian blind” illustrates Ephron’s turn of phrase. The inability of men to find things in the kitchen;
“And if you say to him…’in the refrigerator’… and he goes to look, an interesting thing happens, a medical phenomenon that has not been sufficiently remarked upon. The effect of the refrigerator light on the male cornea. Blindness….. ‘I don’t see it anywhere.'”
There are some very funny moments, the key lime pie, the hamsters in her first marriage, the group therapy session.
Amongst the humour is raw pain and this is a story of survival and there is a sense of the sadness of it when Rachel says that the most difficult thing will be forgetting being in love. But this is also part cookbook as in the novel Rachel is a food writer (this is from Ephron’s sister Delia), there are a number of recipes dotted around the place as well.
I enjoyed the ironic and biting humour, but there was one niggle for me. We have made racist language unacceptable and progress has been made towards making homophobic and sexist language unacceptable. It does seem though that we still think it is ok to deride those with mental ill health and make jokes about “loony bins”. I am old enough to remember the old hospitals where we used to “warehouse” people in the UK and spent some time volunteering in one when I was at university. We still have a long way to go in this area.
Apart from that caveat’ this was funny.
Profile Image for Jonathan K (Max Outlier).
614 reviews117 followers
February 26, 2023
I've been a fan of Nora for many years and enjoyed the Meryl Streep/Jack Nicholson adaptation, ancient that it is.

Rachel is NY-based cook book author and TV personality who's married to Mark, a Washington DC journalist. Her first marriage to Charlie was a bit of a disaster and when meeting Mark, he came across as the 'knight on a white horse". After months of commuting to DC, his marriage proposal was accepted and in a matter of no time, their home began endless renovations. Not long after Sam was born and Mark's sudden absence drew concern; being the insecure type, Rachel grew suspicious. While doing a balancing act between her work and parenting, she learns through the grapevine that Mark is screwing Thelma, a woman she was aware of and disliked. Angered, she packed up, grabbed the baby and headed home to her father in NY, a former celebrity and ill equipped adviser. Rachel is the classic indecisive, guilt ridden sort who relies on analysis, but its opinions of others she embraces.. Her endless pontifications are both sad and hilarious; I just wish I could remember them all.

As the plot plays out stories of travel with their best friends, dinner parties and gossip are mixed with Rachel's recipes of which most are borrowed or stolen. This adds a fun element and if the reader enjoys cooking, a bonus!

Simple in nature, this is a story of relationships, cheating husbands and marriage told through the eyes of a neurotic, insecure yet hilarious character. Truth be told, if I included the countless quotes of hilarity, the review would be as long as the book!

Since Nora is both a film director and screen writer, the book reads like a movie script minus scene headings, camera direction and notes. For those unfamiliar, she's known best for directing/writing "When Harry met Sally", "You've Got Mail, "Julie and Julia" and countless others. She has the ability to make light of humanity in the midst of crisis, a skill only a select few excel with.

Some chapters make you laugh, others wonder while some will cause anger. It requires an appreciation for NY style humor, recipes and understanding the highs and lows of matrimony. Terrific from the first page to the last
Profile Image for Paul Bryant.
2,194 reviews9,467 followers
June 1, 2018
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 they are, like Hamantaschen pastries, tzimmes, rumaki, kreplach, arugola, radicchio, grieven and many others.

I never think about food unless I’m eating it or with reluctance shoving bits of it together so I can then eat it, so for me this was just like the irritation I often encounter when switching on the tv or radio in Britain to be deluged with foodie tv and radio rubbish which are second only to programmes about selling your house or buying a house in Australia or the countryside or to do it up and sell it again. House programmes account for about 50% of tv programmes in this country with food programmes around 45%. Just so you see I’m not exaggerating here’s a little list of current programmes

Saturday Kitchen
The Hairy Bikers’ Asian Adventure
Edwardian Farm
Million Pound Menu
Best Bites
Best Of British
Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares
Come Dine With Me
My Kitchen Rules
The Food Programme

Ugh. So that was one thing, then there was the other thing. Here’s another little list

1. Portnoy’s Complaint (1969)
2. Fear of Flying (1973)
3. Most of Woody Allen’s movies (1969-2018)
4. Heartburn (1983)

Yes, these are all comedies, all fictional representations of Jewish American middle class angst, and all really similar, with endless jokes about food, sex, adultery, being Jewish and what appears to be the central feature of modern Jewish American life – no, not religion, how quaint would that be – it’s analysis – therapy – shrinks.

Nora Ephron's problem was that she came after Erica Jong and Philip Roth for me. Actually, Roth was the Jewish American rantmeister par excellence, and I can't really see why anyone else would bother with this kind of stuff, he owned it. His direct-to-the-reader rants are miles above all these others.

The analysis aka therapy thing is never explained. It is like golf. Very mysterious for an English person. In this country we don’t do analysis, instead we insist that everyone should have counselling. Did someone look at you funny in a supermarket checkout queue? Get counselling! I imagine this to be a very very poor miserable embarrassed broke down version of analysis conducted by people who have never heard of the concept of the unconscious or anyone called Freud. Counselling must be like a car that’s been jacked up and had the wheels stolen. It’s still a car but it won’t go very far.

Maybe analysis is not necessarily Jewish American, maybe it’s something you automatically do in America if you can afford it. Like golf seems to be a pursuit every man is totally desperate to do just the minute their income gets to a … certain… level… NOW! Dash to the golf club! Made it! Poor people do not seem to play golf at all. Instead they can become caddies, which I believe are people who traipse round after the rich golfers pretending wildly that they don’t ever hate or resent them and the golfers affably go along with the blatant pretence.

So in America the main motivating factors impelling people up the greasy poles of their careers is analysis and golf.

Given that I am very profoundly indifferent to the joys of therapy, golf and cooking I can only give this novel 2.5 stars, rounded up to three because I feel rather mean.
Profile Image for Sarah.
50 reviews13 followers
May 4, 2018
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."
Profile Image for Bonnie.
1,371 reviews920 followers
February 21, 2017
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, but can you even imagine having to undergo it at 38 years old and 7 months pregnant? Rachel discovers a note from her husbands lover in a book of children’s songs, suggesting that he sing them to his son. Him and Rachel’s son. Written with such stunning clarity, it’s effortless to understand the rage (and embarrassment) that Rachel felt. But being pregnant and having a toddler left her with a precarious decision on whether to stay or go.

‘Maybe he’s missed me, I thought as we came around the corner. Maybe he’s come to his sense. Maybe he’s remembered he loves me. Maybe he’s full of remorse. There was a police car parked in front of the house. Maybe he’s dead, I thought. That wouldn’t solve everything, but it would solve a few things. He wasn’t, of course. They never are. When you want them to die, they never do.’

Rachel Samstat has such a wry and cynical sense of humor (the best type of humor) that manages to never tread into bitterness. I’m not sure if it’s because Meryl Streep herself played Rachel in the 1986 movie adaptation of Heartburn but she voiced Rachel impeccably (do yourself a favor and listen to the clip here). I spent half the time listening to this story laughing uproariously with tears in my eyes. She portrayed a perfect combination of indifference and restraint while handling a tough situation but opening up the dam of emotions when absolutely necessary. It encompassed everything about true heartbreak and just how calamitous it can be, but galvanizing as well. Infused within her tale of heartbreak are comfort food recipes such as Sour Cream Peach Pie, plain ol’ mashed potatoes, and of course Key Lime Pie; perfect for consuming or weaponizing, if ever the situation calls for it.

Profile Image for Carol.
1,370 reviews2,136 followers
July 8, 2020
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 the entire seven months of her pregnancy.

As the story jumps around, we learn about Rachel's feelings of betrayal, life growing up, her relatives, her crazy alcoholic parents, gossipy friends and the many recipes in her cookbooks.

The movie version with Jack Nicholson playing the philandering husband was excellent. HEARTBURN the book, disappointing, although there are some funnies.

Profile Image for Debbie.
441 reviews2,785 followers
January 25, 2015
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. She is so damn funny, so damn right on, I adore her. When she died in 2012 from leukemia (a shocker, since she had kept her disease a secret from the public), all of us fans mourned the loss of this comic genius.

So I figured I would love every single thing Nora wrote and had high expectations when I picked up Heartburn. But here’s the skinny. Or my skinny, anyway. Nora should have stuck with essays. This book, about the screwed-up relationship of two somewhat famous writers (she writes cookbooks, he’s a journalist), is witty and fun, but it’s shallow as a tide pool. I was sick of reading recipes and sick of hearing about gossipy Washington hotshots and their clichéd affairs, their bourgeois concerns.

Everything seemed great at first. The first half of the book seemed hysterically funny, so I was tooling along, thinking this would be a 5 star. But then the story seemed repetitive and silly and it seemed to lose its juice. Or maybe I was just getting tired of it. And then there was the fact that she made a few politically incorrect comments about gays, Gentiles, and Hispanics. They weren’t major or belabored points(they really weren’t heinous), but they pretty much wiped the smile off my face for the time it took to read them. The only way I can accept this at all is because I realize she wrote this book long before everyone, including her, was getting their consciousness raised.

My major complaint is that it reads like a journal, not a novel. In fact, the book is based on Nora’s divorce from the journalist Carl Bernstein, famous for his reporting of the Watergate scandal. The book is so autobiographical, Bernstein threatened to sue her after it was published. And surprise surprise, it’s written in first person. The storyteller, Rachel, sounds exactly like Nora in her essays, and it’s “look at me, aren’t I funny and smart and self-effacing, and in short, irresistible?” This is fine if she called the book a memoir, but she called it a novel. It doesn’t have the structural integrity of a novel. Actually it barely resembles a novel.

The book rambles, takes detours. The writing is sloppy, like you’d find in journal entries. In places it’s hard to figure out if she’s talking about the present or the past. The characters aren’t developed and they don’t seem real or sympathetic.

This book is so autobiographical it’s not even funny. The narrator, Rachel, says that her supposedly fictional mother uttered “take notes” on her deathbed. Ding ding! Haven’t I heard this quote somewhere before? Oh, yes, I heard it in Sister Mother Husband Dog: Etc., a 2014 memoir written by Nora’s sister, Delia Ephron. In her memoir, Delia mentioned that their mother uttered “take notes” on her deathbed. Matchy matchy! Nora took her mother’s exact words and planted them in this novel aka autobiography. Nora, an obedient daughter at least in this instance, followed her mother’s deathbed advice—she “took notes” even as her mother lay dying.

Oh, and another big annoyance: the story is peppered with recipes. There’s even a list of the recipes listed at the back of the book (talk about autobiographical). I was pissed that I’d be zipping along, reading about her screwed-up marriage and I’d suddenly be interrupted by a recipe for bread pudding. If I had wanted recipes, I would have bought a cookbook.

Nora also wrote the screenplay for the movie Heartburn. I saw it back in the 1980s when it came out, but of course remember nothing about it, other than Meryl Streep and Jack Nicholson played the leads. I’ve heard that the movie is way better than the book (the opposite of what you’d expect), and I plan to see it again soon.

Despite being pissed off that this was a sloppily written memoir passed off as a novel, I did laugh. A lot. She is one funny woman. There were many hysterical little vignettes that prove she understood perfectly the absurdity of the human condition and could communicate it with pizzazz. But sadly, this book is a 3-star deal.
Profile Image for Nader Qasem.
59 reviews25 followers
May 23, 2020

ما بين سوء الطالع
و أنخفاض سقف الاحلام
هناك حكايات تبداء بسعادة وتنتهي بتعاسة
و حكايات أخرى تبداء بتعاسة لتنتهي بسعادة

وما بين سوء الفهم
وسوء التصرف
هناك علاقات تتلاشى
وعشاق يُظلمون
وقصص تنتهي بلا رغبة


شر البلية ما يضحك يا رفقة
فكيف لو ان البلية توجب الرقيع من الضحكات
كيف لو أن سوء المنقلب أمسى سخرية
كيف لو أن كأبة المنظر تحولت إلى نكتة


أسألة تجيب عليها نورا ايفرون بين صفحات هذا الكتاب بكل بوح


في رواية يكثر بها التحليل النفسي مرار وتكرار
وبين فصول تراجيدية تستجلب الدموع
وصفحات ساخرة تستجلب الضحك
تروي لنا نورا ايفرون قصه رايتشل
أمرأة متثاقلة الخطى
مكبلة بضفائر العمر
منشغلة في حياه بسيطة
تنام وتغفو
وتغفو وتنام
مؤمنة أنها تعيش حياه عائلية مثالية


بيت يهودي مثمر
زيجة ناجحة عقب زيجه كارثية
زوج وسيم ومثقف
وسيرة مهنية لا تخلو من أطباق شهية
أو على الاقل هكذا خُيلت لها حياتها
قبل أن تكتشف أن السعادة معها لا تدوم طويلا
وأن الفرح سرعان ما يغادر طرقات عالمها
فهاهي رايتشل التي ذاقت مرارة الخيانة في زواجها الاول
تكتشف انها تعيش نفس تفاصيل زواجها الأول في زواجها الثاني

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نعم يا رفقة
أمرأة قضت العمر تحاول ان تجمع ثمار الحب في سلتها
لتكتشف في منتصف العمر أن سلتها ما زالت فاااااارغه !!

وكأنها تلعب مع الوقت لعبة الثعبان الورقية
كلما رفعها سُلم الأحلام للأعلى
كلما ابتلعها ثعبان ما
ثم أعادها إلى نقطه الصفر لتبداء من جديد



في غلاف وردي جذاب
وتصميم قادم من السبعينيات
قرأت حُرقه قلب بتقلب
فلا شي يجلب التقلب
كحكاية أمرأة تتظاهر بالقوه والتماسك
بينما هي تسقط وهنا على وهن
بعضها يضحك
وبعضها يبكي

أقرأها أن أردت
لكن أقرأ على ضمانتك الخاصة
فما بين سطر يضحك
وسطر يؤلم
هناك خيبات أمرأة تتراكم بين الصفحات
وتفاصيل خداع تتضاعف مع كل فصل



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أدناه بعض من اقتباساتي المفضلة:

"لديك مقدار محدد من الطاقه ، وما أن تسرفها كل شي يصبح مشوش ،
وأول أدراك يصبح لك هو انك تكتشف انك ما عدت تذكر اي قصه لأي مستمع"

"كيف تشعر ؟
وأيضا مذنب"

"ترى متى سأفهم
ان الشئ الوحيد المذهل المتعلق بعدد الرجال الأوفياء هو ليس عددهم
وأنما وجودهم بذاته"

"يتطلب الأمر شخصان لإيذائك
الأول من يؤذيك
والثاني من ينقل خبر أيذائك"

"ثم لا شيئ يبقى في الزواج
سوى لحظات السخط
تليها وابل من الأعذار
ثم لحظات من السخط
ثم وابل من الأعذار مجددًا"

"أؤمن ان الزواج دافع أساسي وأولي في داخل المرأة
وأؤمن أيضًا ان ذلك الدافع يلحقه دافع العوده لحياه العزوبية بعد الزواج"

"حذاري الرجل البكاء
فالرجل البكاء حساس جدا في العواطف
لكن العاطفة الوحيدة التي تهمه ويلامسها هي عاطفته وحده فقط"

"في الدول الأشتراكيه
يمكنك أن تصبح غنيًا في توفير الحاجيات الأساسية
وفي الدول الرأسمالية
يمكنك أن تصبح غنيًا في توفير الكماليات"
Profile Image for Rachel Smalter Hall.
355 reviews214 followers
April 5, 2016
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 Seattle and You've Got Mail is nowhere to be found. Instead we have the When Harry Met Sally Ephron with none of the lovey bits and basically just the sarcastic parts. She pulls no punches and spares not one of the real people on whom the "fictional" characters are based, least of all herself.

Rachel, the main character, isn't exactly a likable character, and the book does have a handful of problematic moments from being a product of Reagan's rich white 80s, but oh man... She eviscerates her cheating husband and everyone else in their social circle, and it is SO. CATHARTIC. AND GREAT.

And Meryl Streep is just perfect. Did I say that already? Because she is. She is perfect. She put as much character development, nuance, and comic timing into this audiobook as she has for any of her Oscar-winning screen performances. It honestly ruined all other audiobooks for me for a hot li'l minute. This has got to be one of the best audiobooks of all time.

Profile Image for Bianca.
1,044 reviews903 followers
October 12, 2019
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 wasn't that much to laugh about and with good reason, as it's the upbeat story of a marriage breakdown, a second marriage breakdown at that. The narrator is seven months pregnant with her/their second baby when she discoveres her husband was cheating on her with a friend.

Besides my automatic sympathy for anyone in the sisterhood who's been wronged, it was difficult to take it too seriously - it was all upper-middle-class, superficial, mostly happening in the gossipy Washington circles or in New York.

This novel hasn't aged that well - there are a few swipes at feminists as if it were an insult to be one, and people with mental health issues are called crazy.

Three stars is a perfectly adequate rating for this.
Profile Image for lola.
198 reviews79 followers
April 6, 2018
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.
Profile Image for Susan.
2,640 reviews598 followers
August 18, 2021
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 glad I had discovered this gem of a novel.

From being held up during a group therapy session, to musing on recipes, life, love, her previous marriage, Washington gossip and so much more, this really drew me in. I suppose, having had three children, even if they are no longer young, made me recall just how vulnerable and emotional you feel while pregnant. I'm not sure I'll ever be able to read anything by Carl Bernstein now, but I'm so glad I finally read this.
Profile Image for Gretchen Rubin.
Author 42 books88.8k followers
March 27, 2019
A re-read. Hilarious, thought-provoking novel based on her own experience with a divorce.
Profile Image for Roman Clodia.
2,427 reviews2,505 followers
August 27, 2021
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 the core story of the disintegration of a marriage and had bypassed the stand-up comedy routine with its chatty speak-to-the-audience style. But, then, maybe this short book would have been no more than a pamphlet.

A fast read that oscillates between the rawly emotional and the irritating and is just not particularly funny to me (certainly not 'side-splitting' as claimed in the publisher blurb) - but I have to say that I wanted to cheer at the Key Lime Pie scene!
Profile Image for disco.
562 reviews222 followers
June 12, 2018
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.
Profile Image for Vanessa.
462 reviews289 followers
October 25, 2016
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 enjoyed it. The title summed up the book perfectly. Heartburn the perfect euphemism for the word "divorce"
Profile Image for Jennifer (formerly Eccentric Muse).
457 reviews942 followers
September 18, 2017
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-spirited. I mean, Rachel is angry, yes, of course, but it's a really dishonest kind of anger veiled as humour: it's sarcastic and passive aggressive, which I suppose is understandable, but it's also just downright mean, and not just on Rachel's part. These people, all of 'em, are really MEAN. Case in point: the group therapy scene/robbery, and there are many other instances like it.

This is a case of Ephron going for the good story, or the cheap joke, at the expense of humanity and compassion or any deeper reflection or insight about character - her own or any other. The irony here is that between the lines, because it's so autobiographical, and because she cites her therapist pointing out this very thing to her as a bit of a gargantuan flaw/blind spot, the reader knows this is not even an authorial choice. This is not Ephron building character, but revealing her own and others'; the real people behind the pseudonyms. No wonder Carl Bernstein wanted the movie stopped.

In a novel where psychoanalysis comes up again and again, it's kind of telling - or something - that this is the general tone throughout.

A related point is the racism, sexism and homophobia of the humour. So, okay, it was the late 70s/early 80s, but still ... ugh. And it's particularly difficult to read this kind of humour (there is, literally, a good ten minutes of a vignette in which the word 'dyke' is repeated about two dozen times) when one is conscious that it is being presented from a particular cynical, sophisticated, albeit self-acknowledged-as-bourgeois POV. These are the New Yorker-reading, consciousness-raising-session-attending, arugula-and-brie eating, psychoanalyzed political-intellectual elite of NYC/Washington of the 70s. I.e., Ephron thinks she can get away with it because she's hip; she's being self-deprecatingly ironic. Another ugh.

And then, finally, there is the fact that I just can't stomach the presentation of marriage - or these kinds of marriages, maybe (?) - as the be-all/end-all state. I don't get these women, and their view of the role of women. I don't get the fat-phobia, the lookism, the heterosexism, the being constantly on the hunt for a man 'coz god forbid you're ever single for more than 10 minutes between your second and third marriage. I don't get, I never did get, believing one is over the hill at 30 or believing a woman without a man is an incomplete and pitiable creature.

I simply can't get any foothold to this particular mindset and the way of living it spawns. I wasn't raised by a mother who expected me to meet those particular standards, or who put that kind of pressure on me - thank god. BUT: I had lots of friends whose mothers did, and lots who were attending university simply for that "MRS" degree; to find and marry a doctor or a lawyer, not to become one themselves.

So I do remember it, the early 80s, and that mind- and soul-numbing culture gap when feminism was lying dormant and on life support between the idealism and political activism of the 60s/70s and the emergence of the third wave of the 90s. Revisiting it in Heartburn was a trip back in time; unpleasant, but blessedly short.

I did like the recipes.

Read at your own risk. And if you consume the audiobook, as I did, know that Meryl Streep -- the premier actor of our generation -- is far too good for audiobooks. Here, omg, she comes off as an over-eager 2nd year acting student auditioning for summer stock.

Profile Image for Chelsey.
244 reviews113 followers
January 31, 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 found out was having an affair while she was pregnant with their second child. If anyone can turn a disastrous event like that into a witty, tender and often hilarious novel, it's Nora. And I loved it.
Profile Image for Jennifer.
1,727 reviews6,663 followers
June 22, 2016
"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."
It seems our talented Nora Ephron paved the way for all the Taylor Swifts in the world who choose to artfully publicize their heartbreaks and betrayals. I get it, I really do. It's the perfect combination of coping and revenge, and apparently it worked for Ms. Ephron and resulted in the bestseller: Heartburn.

I ended up really liking this book. It's brief, funny, down to earth, and it offers amazing recipes...some of which I am looking forward to trying very much. Heartburn details the demise of Ms. Ephron's marriage, much to her husband's real-life dismay. But she does not play the role of a victim or seek pity from her audience in any way. It's like sitting around the dinner table listening to a woman recount the most ridiculous experience she's ever had. The table is roaring with wine-induced laughter and she hasn't even gotten to the good part yet! That is the tone of this book...and the fact that the audio is narrated by the amazing Meryl Streep just added to the experience. I'm glad I finally read this book and I plan to watch the movie soon.

My favorite quote:
“Most cooking is based on elementary longstanding principles, and to say cooking is creative not only misses the point of creativity, which is that it is painful and difficult and quite unrelated to whether it is possible to come up with yet another way to cook a pork chop, but also misses the whole point of cooking which is that it is totally mindless. What I love about cooking is that after a hard day, there is something comforting about the fact that if you melt butter and add flour and then hot stock, it will get thick! It’s a sure thing! It’s sure thing in a world where nothing is sure; it has a mathematical certainty in a world where those of us who long for some kind of certainty are forced to settle for crossword puzzles.”
Profile Image for Nigeyb.
1,210 reviews266 followers
August 18, 2021
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.


Profile Image for Tatiana.
1,401 reviews11.7k followers
August 10, 2019
Witty and often funny, but also much more bizzare than the movie adaptation, outdated and kind of sexist and racist.
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