Review first published on my blog: http://memoriesfrombooks.blogspot.com/2013/10/heartburn.html
Rachel Sampstat is a cookbook author, a wife, and her mother. Mark Feldman is a syndicated columnist and Rachel's husband. The book begins as Rachel, seven months pregnant, learns that her husband is having an affair and has been for several months.
What ensues through the rest of the story are different reflections on relationships through Rachel and Mark's stories and the stories of the couples around them. What keeps people together? What drives them apart? Can you move beyond a betrayal like infidelity?
The emotions and complicated relationships in this book are real life - sometimes clear and sometimes a jumbled mess. Some parts of the book are funny, but to me, the sadness emerges more so than the humor.
The book's pace is somewhat frantic. To me, it adds to the sadness, leaving an impression of "if you run fast enough, you can outrun your own emotions". Written from Rachel's point of view, the book seems to flit between her varied thoughts and sometimes goes in all different directions - her first marriage, her husband's infidelity, the Washington DC political scene, friends, recipes, her parents, and other things. Sometimes it is like following a really long monologue without any given thread becoming fully developed.
This book was made into a movie starring Meryl Streep and Jack Nicholson. Usually, I prefer the books over the movies. With that cast and the nature of the story, this one may be better as a movie. I guess I will have to watch and decide.