REVIEW: WHAT NORA KNEW, BY LINDA YELLIN

81jZMIRrKRL._SL1500_New York writer Molly Hallberg is approaching forty years of age. Working for an online magazine in Manhattan, she longs for her own column, and hopes to avoid working in the family’s upholstery business.

Her marriage to Evan, who was supposed to be the one ended when he cheated on her. Now she is cynical and trusts nobody. Which is why she seems to have settled for dull, boring Russell, who feels comfortable.

When her boss assigns a piece on romance, in the style of “Nora Ephron,” Molly is at a loss. How can a cynic write such a piece? And, predictably, the article falls flat.

Along the way she meets a bestselling author named Cameron Duncan, who is charming, flirtatious, and with whom she connects. There is just one problem. How can she trust him?

I loved how Molly, the first person narrator, had conversations with famous people in her head, as if practicing for real-life interactions. She ruminated about scenes from Nora Ephron movies, like Sleepless in Seattle, When Harry Met Sally, and You’ve Got Mail.

Can Molly finally take a leap of faith, like the heroines in Nora’s movies? Is it possible for a cynic to learn to trust?
As Nora’s characters taught her:

“….You can’t settle for the wrong man; how can you not run toward love no matter how crazy romantic a fairy tale this story might seem?”

What Nora Knew was a fun journey along the road to romance, and I enjoyed the dialogue, the reminders of favorite movies, and the idea of creating your own happy ending. 4.0 stars.


SERENDIPITOUS WEDNESDAYS: UPCOMING READS — SEPT. 11

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Welcome to Waiting on Wednesday, another exciting foray into the upcoming books we are awaiting.  Click on over to Jill, at Breaking the Spine, to discover what other bloggers are drooling over.

Today I’m spotlighting a book that sounds really intriguing to me:  What Nora Knew, by Linda Yellin.  Coming January 21, 2014.

 

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Blurb from Amazon:  Self-professed cynic Molly Hallberg navigates the tricky waters of New York romance with help from the advice found in Nora Ephron’s romantic comedies.

Molly is a thirty-nine-year-old divorced writer living in New York City who wants her own column, a Wikipedia entry, and to never end up in her family’s Long Island upholstery business. For the past four years Molly’s been on staff at Eye Spy, covering all the wacky assignments. She’s snuck vibrators through security scanners, speed-dated undercover, danced with Rockettes, and posed nude for a Soho art studio.

Fearless in everything except love, Molly is now dating a forty-four-year-old chiropractor. He’s comfortable, but safe. When Molly is assigned to write a piece about New York City romance “in the style of Nora Ephron,” she flunks out big time. She can’t recognize romance. And in her own life, she can’t recognize the one man who can go one-on-one with her, the one man who gets her. Mainly because he’s a well-known player.

But with pointers from Nora Ephron’s comedies, Molly learns to open her heart, suppress her cynicism, and find her very own fairytale ending.

 

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I’m a big fan of Nora Ephron’s books and movies…and this little story promises to bring out some of the things I love most about those books and movies.

What are you waiting for?