4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Generally Disappointing Offering from a Favorite Author,
This review is from: I Remember Nothing: And Other Reflections (Vintage) (Paperback)
When I heard last week that Nora Ephron had died, I realized that I had not read what turned out to be her last book of essays, "I Remember Nothing." As much as I normally enjoyed Ms Ephron's works, I am glad I checked this book out from the library rather than purchasing it, as unfortunately there was little over-all that I found memorable in it. It is very possible that Ms Ephron was ill at the time that the book was published, but it does appear that most of the essays had appeared in other publications prior to the issuing of her last book. I read it in less than four hours, and except for the final three chapters ("The O Word,"What I Won't Miss" and "What I Will Miss") I did not find myself particularly moved.
For me the most interesting and classic Ephron essay was the one on Lillian Hellman, "Pentimento." In that essay Ms Ephron relates how she met the famous author and befriended her, or was befriended by her -- I am never quite sure how that works. By the time they met, Ms Hellman was 68 years old and apparently still drinking heavily. They became friends until they were not...the younger Nora found that her idol had feet of clay, actually had always had them, and dropped her. In her own words the essay was perhaps her attempt at apologizing, but it was too late, as Ms Hellman was long dead. I think many of us can relate to this -- whether it is a parent, a sibling, a once close friend that we have judged and perhaps even cut out of our life. Years later, as an older person, we realize that people are much more complex than we thought they were when we were younger. If we are lucky, it is not too late to make amends, but otherwise we are just forced to live with our decision.
In the final three chapters, I feel that Ms Ephron was telling the reader that time for her was short. The O in the title "The O Word" stands for old. While I am not quite the age Ms Ephron was when she wrote the essay, I know what it is like to grow old in America, a nation obsessed with youth (where 16 year olds and "entertainers" like Snookie can write memoirs). Suddenly, too, in my life everyone is taking about cancer -- so many friends and relatives of friends are developing it, just as Ms Ephron wrote. And the thought of being really old with no memory weighed on her mind -- it did not come to pass, and I wonder if she felt relief at the end. I like the fact that she wrote she would miss waffles and bacon in a world obsessed with "eating healthy." She will be missed, but I would go to her earlier works for the "best of Nora Ephron."