What Nora Knew by Linda Yellin

January 24th, 2014 Kimberly Review 26 Comments

24th Jan
What Nora Knew by Linda Yellin
What Nora Knew
by Linda Yellin
Genres: Contemporary Women
Pages: 320
Source: Publisher
Purchase*: Amazon *affiliate
Rating: One StarOne StarOne Star

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
One StarOne StarOne Star

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About Kimberly
Kimberly is a coffee loving book addict who reads and listens to fictional stories in all genres. Whovian, Ravenclaw, Howler and proud Nonna. She owns and manages Caffeinated PR. The coffee is always on and she is ready to chat. Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

26 Responses to “What Nora Knew by Linda Yellin”

  1. Pamela D

    I read a blurb of this book a long time ago, and it sounded cute. Thanks for the advice about it being a library book though!

  2. Trish

    Sounds like a fun read but not the most original concept ever. I love the NY setting and snarky characters are always fun. On the maybe list!

  3. Dani

    Good to know I should get this at the library. I wish it had been better, especially when it is like Sleepless in Seattle and You’ve Got Mail.

  4. Braine Talk Supe

    I love the blurb… sneaking vibrators thru scanners LOL.

    Books like this are 3-starrers more or less but even if it doesn’t wow, it’s “comfort read”. I’m a believer that not every book should be intense, we all need to read something easy in between, this sounds like it falls under that category.

    Enjoy the coming weekend!

  5. Michelle

    This one sounds really cute and fun! I’m not the biggest fan of fluffy movies like You’ve Got Mail but it sounds like a good book when your mind needs a break.

  6. Candace

    Hmmm… this is a sort of book I have been enjoying lately but it’s been years since I watched Sleepless in Seattle or You’ve Got Mail and I had no idea who Nora Ephrom was. I’m not sure if I’d connect with this one or not.

  7. Christy

    “She’s snuck vibrators through security scanners”

    Haven’t we all? 😀

    So, um … I haven’t watch any of those movies. At least not in their entirety. This book sounds super funny though!

  8. Melissa (Books and Things)

    Sounds like one of those reads you want when you are just relaxing. I do like the Nora Ephron movies and I like that there is many a mention to them. I think I would enjoy this one.

  9. Dre

    I have this on NG and I’m planning to read this soon. I do like books that sort of talks to its readers, it makes me feel like the protagonist is my BFF or something. And having snarky-witty banters are always awesome on books. I like strong characters who can hold their own and can deliver those lines. Fantastic review!

  10. Lindy

    Excellent Review Kim! I love stories that take me to another place, and I’ve never been to New York. I like that there was snarky banter, and this story made you laugh aloud. This sounds like a fairly good story, especially with the comparisons that you made to some of my favorite movies, and Sex in the City! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  11. Tanja

    This book is new to me and it does sound interesting but it’s not a read for me. The main character seems to old for me to connect with her. I’m glad this book made you laugh. Great review 🙂

  12. Jenea

    I like the snark characters, and the movie references would be great too. Glad you enjoyed it. 🙂

  13. Lily B

    Molly sounds endearing, I like the sound of her story. Glad you liked it, never heard of it, will have to look it up.

  14. Jenny

    I’m always a fan of a snarky heroine and witty banter in a romantic situation Kim! Sounds like this is just one of those fun, light reads that entertains without really blowing you away. I do like those kinds of books in between heavier reads:) Fabulous review!

  15. kindlemom1

    Even though this had a slow build up and a lot of back story it still sounds like you enjoyed it and I think I would like all the references and similarities to the movies (some of my favs!).

  16. Nick

    This isn’t my type of book to be honest, but I’m glad you had a good time with it overall though.
    Lovely review.

  17. Mary

    I do enjoy quirky books. There’s just something about them that makes me smile. Love that the author’s captured NYC single life — it’s not a place I’d want to live but I do like to read about it!

  18. Ro Mejia

    I really liked your review and all the different references to movies. I felt like it gave me an exact read on the book. I like Nora and I could picture her snarky banter and the flat sense of humor.

    TY, RO
    A Bookish Escape