Bestselling author Delia Ephron shares a deeply personal collection of stories and essays, anchored by a loving remembrance of her sister Nora.
In Sister Mother Husband Dog, Delia Ephron brings her trademark wit and effervescent prose to a series of autobiographical essays about life, love, sisterhood, movies, and family. In “Losing Nora,” she deftly captures the rivalry, mutual respect, and intimacy that made up her relationship with her older sister and frequent writing companion. Other essays run the gamut from a humorous piece about love and the movies—how one romantic comedy completely destroyed her twenties—to the joy of girl friends and best friendship, the magical madness and miracle of dogs, keen-eyed observations about urban survival, and a serious and affecting memoir of life with her mother and growing up the child of alcoholics. Ephron’s eloquent style and voice illuminate every page of this superb and singular work.
"Life is such a jumble," writes Ephron in one of many blunt essays from her fourth collection, a phrase that aptly describes these reflections on the monumental and the mundane. The lighter fare including a spirited poem about bad hair days and a charming appreciation of her dog, a small white Havanese named Honey plays second fiddle to the real drama: her relationship with sister Nora and their partnership on projects such as the film You've Got Mail and the off-Broadway hit Love, Loss, and What I Wore. Many readers will be curious about Delia's take on her more famous sister, who was "ruthless as a writer" and the model for a "wildly opinionated, wildly successful, self-centered older sister" in her novel Hanging Up. The most insightful pieces, however, focus on Delia's personal transformation: after her "walkabout" 20s, she became a novelist and screenwriter in a happy second marriage. The wisdom in these essays is gentler, and the jokes are warmer, balancing the brittle humor Delia succumbs to when describing Nora's power plays and their mother's dictums on how to be an Ephron (i.e., a writer who worships success). Although many details will be familiar to Delia's fans, the mix here mirrors the comforting jumble of real life, with jewels, junk, and everything else thrown in, creating a down-to-earth intimacy that is classic Ephron.
Moving & Funny
A good glimpse into the special relationship that is sisterhood. Wonderful!