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A Heart That Works

On sale

31st August 2023

Price: £10.99

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Selected: Paperback / ISBN-13: 9781399710886

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Mia Farrow
A love story unlike any other
Lauren Groff
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
Richard Osman
What a read. Its beauty and pain and humour and anger will help many people. This is a beautiful monument
Cathy Rentzenbrink
The weaving of the joy and pain, the love and loss, the absurdity of grief, is done so beautifully. It feels like a message in a bottle, a despatch, a communication from the depths of suffering and despair that ultimately brings a message of great hope
Russell T. Davies
It is a gift, it's an immense piece of work. It's brilliant. It's needed, like a deep, physical draught of something strong and cold
Patricia Lockwood
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
Monica Heisey
Warm and vivid and heartbreaking, humane and somehow even funny, Rob Delaney has written a very special tribute to a very special boy, and a beautiful treatise on what really matters in life
Anne Lamott, author of BIRD BY BIRD
I love this book, and it is a tough ride, filled with grace and beauty and unimaginable pain. I cried a number of times, laughed a lot, grieved with the Delaneys, and underlined so many moments of courage, exposure, humanity and the deepest meaning. All I can say is Wow
Laura Zigman, author of SEPARATION ANXIETY
This book is unlike anything I've ever read. Brutally honest, powerful, like a beautiful howl. A love letter to Delaney's precious boy. To his wife. His family. To parenthood. It is a book that will help so many grieving parents. I loved everything about it
Mat Johnson, author of PYM
Emotionally raw, yet masterfully told. At the heart of this intimate story of coming to terms with the death is a stubborn embrace of life itself
Dawn O'Porter
I got to know Henry through Rob's words. His sweet soft head. His amazing smile . . . I cried a lot but also felt hopeful because life goes on and Rob talks you through how that happens. I am in awe. It's a love letter to fatherhood and the most beautiful tribute to a child who is so deeply adored. This book will sit with me for a very long time
Delaney is a phenomenal storyteller . . . A Heart That Works is in the same league as The Year of Magical Thinking in its stark, clarified articulation of grief
Eleanor Catton
I don't think I've ever read anything before that captures the enormity and power of parental love, how radical it is, how transformative and total
Philippa Perry
It taught me a lot about grieving, life, death and parenting. Every parent should read it. Every human should read it
Sue Perkins
This is such an important, intimate and powerful book. It's unflinching. It stares grief right in the eyes and forces you to do the same
Lauren Laverne, Radio 6 Music Breakfast Show
Beautiful, funny, tender
Nihal Arthanayake, Radio 5 Live
Simply beautiful
The i
Tender, perceptive and strangely, darkly funny amid unconscionable tragedy... This is a rallying call against the polite timidity that we often show grief
Elizabeth Day, How To Fail
A viscerally extraordinary book
Rory Kinnear, Guardian
Vital and very, very funny... As much as I wish he hadn't had to write it, I am glad he did. Because such deaths do happen. And they largely happen in private... That he is able to do so with such guiltless, funny and disarming honesty is testament to the profound effect of Henry's short but meaningful life
Sarah Polley
Rob Delaney shows us his big, beautiful, messy, angry, kind, wise heart and gives us a full life to live instead of the half-life we have been living. I can't say enough about the seismic shift this book created in me
Observer Magazine
Like Catastrophe, which laughs at and celebrates the messiness of married life, A Heart That Works is tragicomic, a jumble of joy and fear and laughter and pain... bleakly fun
Kirkus Starred Review
A devastatingly candid account of a parent's grief that will have readers laughing and crying in equal measure... Few would attempt to bring humor and levity to such an unbearably sad story, but Delaney manages to do so with grace, sincerity, and warmth
Sunday Independent
The book is remarkable for how deeply it delves into the granular aspects of death... This memoir is a big-hearted depiction of personal pain, urging readers to appreciate what they have
Daily Express
The most moving, thought-provoking and intimate account of navigating grief that you're likely to read... Delaney's book is shot through with profound anger, flashes of humour and most of all the enormous, all-encompassing love he feels for Henry and his family
How do you go on when the very worst happens? That's the question Catastrophe star and comedian Delaney grapples with in this raw account of losing his two-and-a-half-year-old son Henry to brain cancer in 2018. There are moments of dark humour amid the heartbreak, but expect to start crying on page 17
Wrenching . . . A Heart That Works is heartbreaking (and how can it not be?), but it's also an affecting portrait of a father's love for his son
Irish Times
A heart-breaking, consoling, funny and angry lament . . . life-changing
i news, Best Books of 2022
[Delaney's] meditations on loss, family and hope are so profound you'll come out the other side of this book a different person
New York TImes
A raw, painful and, at times, darkly funny memoir . . . As heartbreaking as the book may be, Delaney's pitch black humor buoys even the toughest moments . . . Delaney's book is ultimately about all-encompassing, heart-exploding love.
New Yorker
The pain comes less from horrifying details than from the way Delaney lures us into contact with the very aspects of our lives that are easiest to ignore: our fragilities, our constant proximity to calamity, our powerlessness to control what life brings, or when
USA Today
A wrenching, unflinching and somehow often funny memoir
Washington Post
It is a relief to read an account of grief that is not a series of hard-won life lessons wrapped in a gratitude journal . . . The result is a book that sings with life . . . That a book about a dead child is at times laugh-out-loud funny is a testament to Delaney's skill; in the hands of a lesser writer, the humor could seem dismissive or grasping instead of the natural release valve of a person who is highly attuned to the absurdity of the awful
A book that'll break a heart, and put it back together again...A life changing read
Achingly beautiful
Sunday Times
Extraordinary . . . it brims with chaotic life
Mark Haddon
It is laugh out loud funny, and cry out loud sad, and warm as a huge log fire in winter and I could have carried on reading it for 1000 pages.