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An Innocent, a Broad
Cover of An Innocent, a Broad
An Innocent, a Broad
by Ann Leary
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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. At once an intimate family memoir, a lively travelogue, and a touching love story, An Innocent, a Broad is utterly engaging and unforgettable.

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. At once an intimate family memoir, a lively travelogue, and a touching love story, An Innocent, a Broad is utterly engaging and unforgettable.

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About the Author-
  • Ann Lembeck Leary has written for television and film. She is married to actor Denis Leary.

    They have two children, including a now healthy and hearty teenaged Jack, and live on a farm in Connecticut.

Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    February 9, 2004
    While pregnant, Leary, a television and film writer, fantasized about the birth of her son: it would include a home birth ("I would realize that there was no time to make it to the hospital"), an easy delivery (an "evening on our bed, laboring and breathing"), and, of course, a healthy child ("a beautiful, plump baby that my husband would triumphantly slide onto my bare belly"). This fantasy, Leary admits, occasionally included "a handsome fireman who was called upon in a moment of panic." Needless to say, it didn't happen that way. On a weekend trip with her husband, comedian Denis Leary (who was still relatively unknown at the time), to London in 1990 during her second trimester, Leary's water broke. No home birth, no healthy baby, no fireman. With a light touch and comic flair, Leary recounts the five months in London surrounding her son Jack's birth (they had to wait until Jack was more developed to travel back to the U.S.). Forgoing the gory medical details, Leary focuses on her life in and around the hospital and her naïveté about childbirth and parenting. Her cultural observations are especially droll, as Leary sorts out that "tea" is actually a meal and tries to prove that Americans aren't stupid: "I tried to look intelligent, but... I had nothing to read or even to look at, so I narrowed my eyes and stared at my fingernails, in what I hoped was a thoughtful way." Oddly, the one thing missing from the narrative is her husband, who plays a surprisingly small role. Still, this memoir is an easy read that finds the humor in this trying time in Leary's life. Agent, Henry Dunow. (Apr.)

    Forecast:
    Author appearances in Boston, Los Angeles and New York, in addition to a national broadcast and print media campaign, could attract 20- and 30-something women dealing with new motherhood.

  • Michael J. Fox

    "Fresh, heartfelt and hilarious...What a broad, what a mom--what a writer. I loved this book."

  • Dani Shapiro

    "Funny, irreverent, witty and wise...compulsively readable."

  • Cynthia Kaplan, author of Why I'm Like This

    "Sharp and funny and snide and soulful... I'd hate her guts except that I want to be her best friend."

  • Christina Bartolomeo, author of Cupid and Diana

    "Uplifting, heart-cheering, and-in the most warm and human way-very, very funny...."

  • Ben Sherwood, author of The Man Who Ate The 747

    "Belongs next to David Sedaris's Me Talk Pretty One Day and even Mark Twain's Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court."

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    HarperCollins
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