Synopses & Reviews
People magazine Fall Must Read pick * 2022 BuzzFeed Fall Reading pick
A visceral and deeply personal memoir by the star of the Amazon Prime series Catastrophe, about the loss of his young son.
In 2016, Rob Delaney's one-year-old son, Henry, was diagnosed with a brain tumor. The family had moved from Los Angeles to London with their two young boys when Rob's wife was pregnant with Henry, their third. The move was an adventure that would bind them even more tightly together as they navigated the novelty of London, the culture clashes, and the funhouse experience of Rob's fame — thanks to his role as co-creator and co-star of the hit series Catastrophe. Henry's illness was a cataclysm that changed everything about their lives. Amid the hospital routine, surgeries, and brutal treatments, they found a newfound community of nurses, aides, caregivers, and fellow parents contending with the unthinkable. Two years later, Henry died, and his family watched their world fall away to reveal the things that matter most.
A Heart That Works is Delaney's intimate, unflinching, and fiercely funny exploration of what happened - from the harrowing illness to the vivid, bodily impact of grief and the blind, furious rage that followed, through to the forceful, unstoppable love that remains. In the madness of his grief, Delaney grapples with the fragile miracle of life, the mysteries of death, and the question of purpose for those left behind.
Delaney's memoir — profound, painful, full of emotion, and bracingly honest — offers solace to those who have faced devastation and shows us how grace may appear even in the darkest times.
"A devastatingly candid account of a parent's grief that will have readers laughing and crying in equal measure….Heart-wrenching and impressively self-aware." Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review)
"I could have read about Henry for a thousand pages. It is impossible not to share in Delaney's tenderness, his attention, his anger, his night-black humor, and impossible not to see his son through his eyes: loved, learning, smiling ecstatically. I will turn to this book again and again, to feel deeply and to learn about this world from Henry." Patricia Lockwood, author of No One Is Talking About This and Priestdaddy
"This book is so rich with grief and love and pain and humor and an incandescent, purifying, flame-throwing wrath. Though Delaney can't bring Henry back, he can — and does — show enough of him to the world to make a reader see him a little bit, know him a little bit, and fully love him. What an unbelievable gift." Lauren Groff, author of Fates and Furies and Matrix
About the Author
Rob Delaney is a comedian, actor, and writer. He is widely known as the award-winning co-creator and co-star of the critically acclaimed Amazon Prime comedy Catastrophe. He is the author of a memoir Rob Delaney: Mother. Wife. Sister. Human. Warrior. Falcon. Yardstick. Turban. Cabbage.