Skip to main content

A Heart That Works Bets On...

About the Author

About the Book

A Heart That Works

December 2022

A HEART THAT WORKS, a memoir by actor Rob Delaney, is my final Bets On selection of 2022. While it’s the saddest book that I read this year, it’s also one that I literally could not put down.

Rob’s son, Henry, was diagnosed with a brain tumor when he was just a year old. Rob's family had moved from Los Angeles to London for his work. His wife, Leah, gave birth to Henry there. For a while, their lives were crazy busy, which is what happens when there are three young boys in the house. Then came the diagnosis that changed their lives and took them on a journey that was not going to have a happy ending.

Rob chronicles the next two years until Henry passed away, including Henry’s hospital stay for more than a year --- take a moment to think about that --- and how this cruel turn of fate took this couple and their family in directions that they never imagined. His writing had me drawn in from page one, and the book is written with gut-wrenching honesty. Rob and Leah had two older boys, and he talks about trying to have a normal life with them while knowing that Henry was living on borrowed time, especially after the cancer returned.

During this time, Leah became pregnant with a child who would be their fourth boy. At the time, Henry’s health was rapidly failing. They chose to tell him, and only him, that he was going to be a big brother. While there would be a new baby, they were clear that that child would always have three brothers. While this sounds like just a sad book, to me it’s not. There is a lot here about caregivers and medical personnel who truly cared. And there is a raw honesty about grief and healing.

I put this on a shelf with THE YEAR OF MAGICAL THINKING, WHEN BREATH BECOMES AIR and UNTIL I SAY GOOD-BYE. These books remind me to take time to experience every day with as much joy as I can. After all, we all are living on some version of borrowed time.

A Heart That Works
by Rob Delaney

  • Publication Date: November 29, 2022
  • Genres: Memoir, Nonfiction
  • Hardcover: 196 pages
  • Publisher: Spiegel & Grau
  • ISBN-10: 1954118317
  • ISBN-13: 9781954118317