by Linda Yellin
Genres: Contemporary Women
Molly Hallberg 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 for an online magazine, 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.
I was drawn to What Nora Knew by Linda Yellin based on the synopsis and mention of Nora Ephrom’s movies. This was a humorous look at love and relationships as our snarky protagonist, Molly, a thirty-nine year old divorced writer begins a column for Eye Spy. Mini review: humor, quirky characters and realistic look at love, romance and relationships in the big apple.
Delivered in the style of Sleepless in Seattle and You’ve Got Mail, Molly Hallberg tells all as she takes on an assignment about love and romance in the style of Nora Ephron. Divorced and clearly unsure about what love really is, Molly reluctantly begins the assignment. During this time she meets Cameron Duncan; a mystery writer and player. Their chemistry is hilarious, with snarky banter. The romance is slow to develop, and the tale reminded me of Bridget Jones.
Molly was a fun character and her sassy; snarky comments made me laugh. Determined not to join the family upholstery business she sets out for a career in journalism. Her resume of jobs to pay the rent are hilarious, and I loved how she described them. After her marriage failed it left her jaded regarding soul-mates, marriage and love. Molly experiences a lot of growth throughout the novel as she goes from someone who settles to taking chances. Cameron is charismatic, and I loved how conversation with him pushed her buttons. The relationship develops slowly and at times dragged for me but in the end it felt genuine. A lot of the humor and conversations between them are hilarious, but I fear those that aren’t familiar with the movies referenced might find this flat.
What Nora Knew was slow to develop with a lot of back-story before the juice of the romance began. Fans of Sleepless in Seattle and You’ve Got Mail will enjoy the references. All of the characters were likable, even boring and stuffy Russell, her chiropractor boyfriend. It felt like Molly was talking to us, and I couldn’t help but draw comparison to Carrie in Sex and the City. In fact, a lot of this is similar to movies, and a few scenes were almost identical to those in Bridget Jone’s Diary giving me a sense of déjà vi. Yellin beautifully captures New York single life, from apartment life to speed dating. She creating a fun character with Molly even if she is pieced together from other characters we know and love. The ending was wonderful and just what you would expect from a fan of Nora Ephron. A tribute in part I enjoyed this quirky, hilarious walk down memory lane.
What Nora Knew delivered a humorous tale about love in the big Apple. While I enjoyed this and had moments where I laughed aloud , this is one you should pick up at the library.
Three cups of coffee out of five
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