A heart that works

by Delaney, Rob, 1977-

Format: Print Book 2022
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People Fall Must Read pick * 2022 BuzzFeed Fall Reading pick * Time 100 Must-Read Books of 2022

A visceral and deeply personal memoir by the star of the Amazon Prime series Catastrophe , about love, loss, and fatherhood.

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 and a challenge 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.

Published Reviews
Publisher's Weekly Review: "Delaney (Rob Delaney: Mother. Wife. Sister. Human. Warrior. Falcon. Yardstick. Turban. Cabbage.), cocreator and costar of the sitcom Catastrophe, recounts the death of his toddler son, Henry, and the aftermath in this heartrending memoir. In 2014, Delaney and his wife, Leah, moved to London for his work; two years later, Henry was born. Toward the end of his first year, Henry underwent an MRI, and a brain surgeon discovered a tumor near his brain stem. Following a successful surgery to remove the tumor, Henry lost the ability to swallow and received a tracheostomy, and health complications kept him in the hospital for 14 months. After Henry finally went home, Delaney writes, he basked in the "unalloyed beauty of his personality." But it was a short-lived idyll: Henry's cancer returned, and he died several months later, at home in Leah's arms. Delaney is reflective ("It physically pained me to sign the consent forms each time he got chemo"), and his raw emotionality captures the enormity of his loss ("I was ready to love this boy forever"). Profound, crushing, and wrenching, this account of a father's love takes the full measure of grief. Agent: Pilar Queen, UTA. (Nov.)"
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Additional Information
Subjects Delaney, Rob, -- 1977-
Fathers and sons.
Publisher New York, NY :Spiegel and Grau,2022
Edition First edition.
Language English
Description 180 pages ; 21 cm
ISBN 9781954118317
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