Delia Ephron has written an entertaining group of personal essays that range from the deeply touching to the absurdly humorous in Sister Mother Husband Dog, (etc.) The first essay in the book is a tribute to her late sister, the writer Nora Ephron. The two sisters worked together writing screenplays for several popular movies, including You’ve Got Mail and Sleepless in Seattle. Certainly she writes of her sister in a loving way, but she also shares with us the humanness of the relationship – the jealousy and the competition. Another of the more heartfelt essays titled, “Why I Can’t Write About My Mother”, is about her childhood and the far reaching consequences of growing up with an alcoholic mother.
On the lighter side, several of the stories reflect her funny thoughts on subjects of which most middle aged Americans can relate. In The Banks Taketh she writes - “Within three and a half blocks of my house are eight banks…why are the banks paying 0.4% interest on a savings account if they can afford to open offices on every other block in Greenwich Village?” And in Upgrade Hell – “Recently Apple unveiled a new iPhone with 200 more features...My smartphone is already too smart for me, and I assume this new phone will be smarter. All a smarter phone means is another way for me to feel dumber.”
This is a quick read and one easily picked up for an essay or two at a time. I also enjoyed listening to parts of the book in CD Audio, read by actress Meg Ryan.