What I’m reading… Heartburn by Nora Ephron

I try and read on the regular but sometimes work, life and other distractions get in the way. When this happens though, I’ll always try and return to an old familiar favourite, so that, even if I am not reading something fresh and new, I am still reading.

The latest book to follow me around the house, accompanying me on trips to the kitchen for snacks and coffee, is Heartburn by Nora Ephron.

I am a HUGE Ephron fan, loving her films before I really understood what a great rom-com was. Ephron has a very clear style, her talent for dialogue, I think, is unrivalled and she has laid the path for so many brilliant romantic comedies to follow in her genius.

For those of you who are unfamiliar, Ephron wrote and directed When Harry Met Sally and Sleepless In Seattle to name just two. She was, first and foremost, an American Journalist, brilliant essayist and writer and finally a director.

Ephron’s style is so clearly defined and unashamedly distinct that you can really hear the actors who might play the characters in her writing. In Heartburn, Ephron writes from experience, with a wonderfully sharp-tongued dialogue and brutal but hilarious recounting of affairs and betrayal, all between the pages of cookbooks and newspapers.

It is an ode to New York in so many ways, her love affair with that city so frequently used in her films and with that backdrop, you really get a wonderful sense of each interior the lead character Rachel Samstat steps into, whether it is Betty’s Washington linoleum kitchen floor (which thank goodness could take the impact of a key lime pie incident) or her father’s New York apartment, there is a reason for every setting and a setting for every saga.

I was completely devastated with myself when I realised that Heartburn had in fact been adapted for film!! So my mission now is to watch, compare, contrast and pay close attention to the set design by English set and costume designer, Tony Walton, and see if the silver screen lives up to the fictional world I’ve imagined in my head.


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