An Innocent, a Broad

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Release Date: April 12, 2005
Pages: 256
ISBN13: 978-0060527242



An Innocent, a Broad is the story of a young, broke and hopelessly naïve American couple who packed their bags for a two-night stay in London but soon after arriving were taken hostage by the British National Health Service and detained for six months.

Okay, that’s the dramatic one-liner, but it’s essentially what happened to us. In the spring of 1990 my husband Denis Leary, then an unknown American comic, was hired by the BBC to do a show called London Underground which featured up and comers in the British and American comedy scene. The job only paid a few hundred dollars but it included round-trip, first-class tickets to London so we were thrilled with this windfall. I was six months into my first pregnancy and looked forward to a carefree mini-vacation in England before the onset of motherhood. Denis saw his upcoming appearance on British television as the opportunity he needed to rocket his career forward.

My premature labor began the morning after we arrived in London and I suddenly found myself a bed-bound (but grateful) captive of Britain’s National Health Service; a stranger in a strange land abruptly plunged into a world of breast pumps and midwives, blood oxygen levels, mad cow disease and poll-tax riots. Broke, homesick and desperately worried about the health of our tiny, prematurely born son Jack, Denis and I struggled to adapt to parenthood and to make ends meet in a very expensive foreign city while, simultaneously, Denis found his fan-base growing among British comedy fans. An Innocent, a Broad is a memoir of our sometimes frightening, sometimes hilarious and ultimately exhilarating passage into parenthood.


“Ms. Leary turns out to be as funny as her husband.”
New York Times

“Sometimes hilarious, often heartwrenching ….I inhaled the book in one sitting and would recommend it highly.”
USA Today

“Witty, engaging …A poignant story with sprinklings of good old fashioned neuroticism.”

“Equal parts heartfelt and humorous.”

“Leary is one of those rare chroniclers of motherhood able to find the middle ground between sentimentality and science as she records both her joys as well as fears. Disarmingly frank.”
Kirkus Reviews

“In her true-life tale of first-time pregnancy gone horribly awry, Leary neither sugarcoats her story nor plays martyr. It’s just the facts, straightforward and satisfying.”
Minneapolis Star Tribune

“If the pun of the title doesn’t get you, the first page will. A devastatingly funny and poignant memoir.”
Edmonton Journal

“An Innocent, a Broad is witty, smart, terrifying, funny, heart-rending and heartwarming — an absolute delight, from start to finish.”

“In a down-to-earth and never self-pitying manner, [Leary] recounts how she survived the ordeal and managed to laugh along the way. An entertaining, if occasionally dry tale of a life-altering event.”
Library Journal