Monday, December 13, 2010

Review #103: An Innocent, A broad by Ann Leary

An Innocent, a Broad by Ann Leary

Description from Publisher website:

When Ann Leary and her husband, then unknown actor-comedian Denis Leary, flew to London in the early nineties for a brief getaway during Ann's second trimester of pregnancy, neither anticipated the adventure that was in store for them. The morning after their arrival, Ann's water broke as they strolled through London's streets. A week later their son, Jack, was born weighing only two pounds, six ounces, and it would be five long months before mother and son could return to the States.

In the meantime, Ann became an unwitting yet grateful hostage to Britain's National Health Service -- a stranger in a strange land plunged abruptly into a world of breast pumps and midwives, blood oxygen levels, mad cow disease, and poll tax riots. Desperately worried about the health of her baby, Ann struggled to adapt to motherhood and make sense of a very different culture.

I have to admit that I was lured into reading this book because I was curious about the woman behind Denis Leary. Yes, he is definitely one of my famous crushes. He has been for years, ever since I saw his stand up show No Cure for Cancer. I was in my early twenties, back when I smoked a pack a day, wore tight jeans and thought myself to be wickedly funny. I knew very little of his personal life until just recently when I discovered this book and Ann's blog.

Her experience is definitely shared with her husband but it is entirely in her own voice, one that is smart, sharp and full of a wicked sense of humor. She comes across entirely vulnerable yet utterly prepared at the same time, something that fascinated me as a mother.
I can't imagine living in another country hoping and praying that my child, born premature, gets the healthy okay that he is fit to go home. You feel her struggles with being a new mom and trying to be a supportive wife at the same time. Denis's career was about to take off and the opportunities in London were critical to his success.
She also writes candidly about the differences with health care in London and the doctors and other patients she meets. I knew very little of this and found it to be scary and educational at the same time.

Rating: 4 stars/ 6 stars
I recommend this for a few different readers. It has the memoir style to it; very lyrical, human, down-to-earth writing style. But it also has a bite to it, laced with sass and humor; I guess, something to expect from the wife of a comedian. Certainly talented in her own right, Ann Leary writes a touching tale about plugging away through some tough choices and coming out the other end.

Author's blog:

Happy Reading and as always, thanks for stopping by!

red headed book child


Melissa said...

I admit to being a Denis Leary fan as well ... and I had no idea about this book nor their story. I'm thinking this might have to be one for my Memorable Memoir reading challenge.

Tales of Whimsy said...

This sounds great and I LOVED your review. How you admitted to wearing tight jeans, smoking, and considering your self quite funny. I bet you're still funny. I like Dennis too! Great review :)

Tales of Whimsy said...

In response to your response, I'm forever sassy but I was downright ornery and rebellious in my 20s ;)