Glad I read this, but glad I read it while waiting to sell back a ton of other books; if I had purchased it the book would’ve ended up in the next resale pile.
Nora Ephron writes with her usual humor and cleverness, but this reads like coming across your friend’s diary. It’s warm, and inviting, but in the manner of a broken-in shoe; it’s too familiar to feel like it warrants publication for the most part. It’s interesting enough, but there’s not much of substance; this is Ephron’s musings about life but there’s nothing to cohere the essays into a book, so it’s the perfect trifle to flip through and forget about.
The closest to a unifying theme threading the book together is aging; obviously with the titular essay being about the inability to hide the effects of aging in the neck, that’s kind of a given. But other reminiscences about past marriages, stages of life, and even moving out of an apartment Ephron was in long enough to fall in (and out) of love with do suggest reflection on a life well and long lived.
The title essay did make one excellent point, which is that hair dye has been one of the largest changes in extending youth; I hadn’t thought of it that way, but the past few generations seeming young for so much longer has to be due in part to the lack of gray hair – I forget who pointed out that the women of Sex and the City and The Golden Girls were of similar ages at the time their shows were on, but there’s the proof.
Anyway, I love Ephron’s movies, and this was fun enough to read, but I’m guessing there are better books of hers out there.