Monday, October 14, 2013

Sister Mother Husband Dog--by Delia Ephron

Do you love the movie, “Sleepless in Seattle”? Do you always stop to watch part of “You’ve Got Mail” when you are flipping through the channels late at night? Have you laughed out loud when reading, “How to Eat Like a Child”? And have you insisted that your friends see the play, “Love, Loss and What I Wore”? If you said yes to any of the above, you are a Delia Ephron fan.

Yes, Delia is sister to Nora Ephron, with whom she co-wrote lots more movies and plays including “When Harry Met Sally”—Yes, that’s the one with the great line by Rob Reiner’s mother in the deli, who says, “I’ll have what she’s having.”

So funny, so clever, so making-life-light-hearted. Except that Delia’s life is not all fun and clever and lighthearted. It was --and is--like ours—funny at times and tragic at times and often funny when it’s most painfully tragic.

Her new book, “Sister Mother Husband Dog” is a series of essays about loss. About loss and cancer. About loss and cancer and career. About loss and cancer and career and alcoholism. About loss and cancer and career and alcoholism --and family. Hence it is a highly recommended book for readers in Cancer Land—we know and also want to laugh at loss and cancer and career and yes family. Yes, addiction too.

The opening essay, “Losing Nora” is very much about cancer and about the death of Delia’s famous sister Nora Ephron. It is also about a powerful, quirky, loving sometimes strained relationship with a sister who chose not to tell anyone (except a  few) that she was dying of cancer—and Delia takes apart the relationship, the love, the competition and the losses (many) in that sisterhood.

I highly recommend this book—to laugh out loud, to cry for two sisters, and to feel less alone in Cancer Land where, as we know, there are just no right choices.

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