Sunday, January 6, 2013


1983, 1984 Pocket Books edition
Nora Ephron
Original price $3.95, purchase price $2.00
Worn paperback

I always enjoyed Ephron on talk shows, but I don't think that's why I bought this novel.  I bought it either because I was curious about the movie (which I still haven't seen) or because the book is discussed in The Queening of America (itself coming up in 1995).  Ephron, who died last year, was straight but she coopted camp humor, and made mildly homophobic remarks in this novel.  She also made mildly racist ones, or at least the heroine based on her does.  There are also disparaging remarks about feminism, yet Rachel tries to present herself as liberal. 

The book reminds me a bit of Sheila Levine Is Dead and Living in New York (1972), in that it's about a Jewish New York woman born in the early 1940s.  But while Sheila tries to get married, Rachel wonders if she should end her second marriage, since her husband has been having an affair during her entire second pregnancy.  This book isn't as funny as Sheila and it's harder to feel sorry for Rachel, partly because she's much better off financially, as a celebrity chef.  In fact, oddly enough, although I can't cook, my favorite parts of the book were where she talks about food, especially potatoes' relationship to relationships.  I didn't really care about hubby Mark (based on Carl Bernstein) and couldn't see what was so great about him, other than he sang silly songs.  I still might see the movie someday, but obviously no hurry.

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