It really is okay to admit you feel bad about your neck: that you may not like it, along with other things about your body – according to the late New York based journalist Nora Ephron, that is.

I feel bad about my neck: and other thoughts on being a woman is a superb memoir where Ephron admits to the things she has experienced as a woman, along with the other inconveniences and (in)necessities one’s gender can incur.

The version I read is introduced by Dolly Alderton, who I am a big fan of, and who has been a big fan of Ephron, devastated to learn of her death from cancer.

Alderton pretty much sums up the memoir and its learnings in her brief contribution, yet there are so many similarities between the two. I can see why Alderton likes Ephron and was inspired by her, evident in her chatty and witty writing, columns and memoir, Everything I Know About Love. And as a result of such admiration, I too have adopted Alderton’s love for Ephron.

On her mother’s deathbed, she reminded Nora that ‘Everything is copy’, which coveys throughout her work as a journalist, author and screenplay writer (Julie & Julia, When Harry Met Sally, You’ve Got Mail).

Ephron is unashamedly honest in her memoir, where she goes through her ‘difficulties’ and personal dislikes about herself and being a woman: a saggy neck, choosing not to carry a purse/handbag, losing her glasses despite buying 6 pairs, living nowhere else apart from New York, marrying and divorcing multiple times.

Whilst I am not even a quarter of a century old, I can already relate to some of the things she mentions, particularly in her Maintenance chapter. Despite being written in 2006, much of the content and perspectives are timeless. Dealing with hair, nails, waxing: it’s amazing how many weeks a year can basically fly by just from personal upkeep!

Some of the stuff she discusses is random, but that’s what makes it great because it is stuff you forgot, yet it is so relatable. Whilst I can’t relate to her missing a ‘cabbage strudel’ (ew, what?!), I know there are some foods that just disappear.

Can someone please tell me what happened to lemon aquadrops?!

I pretty much swallowed this book in one gulp1 sitting of about 2.5 hours!

An easy, addictive read that I would encourage more women to read.

Rating – 5/5 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Genre – memoir, humour

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