Reviews of my favorite books written by expatriates, journalists, and diplomats on what it's really like to live abroad

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Book Review: An Innocent, A Broad by Ann Leary

Back before American comedian Denis Leary was rich and famous, he scored a one-night gig on a British TV show. Best of all, the show agreed to fly he and his pregnant wife Ann over for a two-night stay at a deluxe London hotel. The young couple were having a wonderful time... until Ann's waters broke although the baby, their first, wasn't due for three more months.

In that moment, a weekend's holiday abroad turned into a six month adventure. At first, Ann wasn't allowed to leave her hospital bed, let alone the country. Then, when her son Jack was born weighing only a little over two pounds, she had to stay in the UK to be with him as he slowly grew strong. Her memoir of those months is by turns emotional, witty and rueful.

You'll enjoy this book especially if you:

- Are interested in what nationalized health systems are really like. (Turns out Ann and the baby got more advanced medical care than they would have in the US.)

- Have been the parent (or grandparent) of a prematurely born child.

- Have ever endured a horribly, embarrassingly bad, hair cut.

- Are a fan of Denis Leary, who created the one-man show 'No Cure for Cancer' which first made him famous as a desperate attempt to make enough money to pay for Ann and the baby's extended stay in Britain.

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