A review by cai_rw
I Feel Bad About My Neck: And Other Thoughts on Being a Woman by Nora Ephron


'...the state of rapture I experience when I read a wonderful book is one of the main reasons I read, but it doesn't happen every time or even every other time, and when it does happen, I'm truly beside myself.'
I've known who Nora Ephron was for a few years: she's the writer of When Harry Met Sally, she was an incredible journalist etc etc. I've appreciated her from afar, but never really delved into her work. Less then a year ago I watched said film for the first time, along with You've Got Mail, and I fell in love with her witty women, and her simple yet profound stories. Cut to now, where I've now finished my first foray into her essays (in just two sittings, may I add).
As Ephron explains in the quote above, special works of writing that speak to your very being are few and far between. Sure there are favourites and classics, but to come across a novel that is simultaneously comfort food and a wake-up call are rare. I'm thankful that I bought this on a whim because of a "Buy One Get One Half Price" in Waterstones. I'm thankful that I had to spend 2 hours in A&E, forcing me to grab the first book I saw on my shelf in a mad rush, and I'm thankful that my GP's waiting room was so full this morning, giving me ample time to feed off of Nora's wisdom.
Reading this book is like talking to the woman herself. Her tone, her anecdotes, her nuggets of advice feel like you're sitting down with a friend that you haven't seen in years.
At this point in my life; having finished my English Lit degree, entering a Creative Writing masters, I'm not certain about my future career. But Ephron's words have not only fuelled my fire to be a writer, but her style has reassured me that writing, at its essence, is simple. All you need is a narrative (real or fiction), and speak from the heart. Don't complicate things for the sake of it, don't patronise, and for the love of God, love what you are doing.
Thank you, Nora.