Saturday, August 8, 2009
I started reading The Reading Group by Elizabeth Noble, which is about a group of women in a book club. I decided to read the books they're reading along with them. First up is Heartburn by Nora Ephron. I loved this book! Which is interesting, because there are actually a lot of reasons to not really like the main character, or most of the other characters, and there's not a lot of plot. But I loved how she writes. It's like a sort of stream of consciousness, but with complete sentences and punctuation and paragraphs. The main character talks to directly to the reader, like she's there next to you talking to you instead of you reading the book. You end up feeling like her best friend, even though you sometimes want to scream at her. She also sprinkles recipes throughout the book. The main character is a cookbook author, so that makes sense, and again it makes it read more like stream of consciousness. I don't normally like that, but it was great here. I can see how Nora Ephron because a screenwriter. Her writing style lends itself to the screen because it sounds more like a conversation. She writes the way people talk, even when she's not writing dialogue.
What I did not enjoy is the high number of affairs in this book. There are a ton of books that center around affairs. They make it seems like it's the odd marriage indeed where there's not at least one affair at some point. That's just depressing, and not true. Or maybe it is true in NYC and LA, where these people tend to live. And I suppose happy stable marriages aren't that exciting to write about it. But this book just made it really seem like every marriage has an affair some time. And it took forever for the main character to stand up for herself, although the pie scene was great.
Interesting sidenotes: She wrote When Harry Met Sally and Sleepless in Seattle, two romantic comedies that are actually good. And she wrote the screenplay for Julie and Julia. Huh. I just looked her up, and apparently she was married to Carl Bernstein, the Watergate reporter, and found out he was cheating on her with a married friend when she was pregnant with their second child. Now that sounds extremely familiar! Also, she told anyone who would listen that Deep Throat was Mark Felt, but no one listened apparently. But she was right! Also, the main character is Jewish, and brings that up repeatedly. It's one of the two books I mentioned in the last post.