What The author says
about the book
A promising new literary voice.” –Kirkus Reviews
For aspiring indie filmmaker Kevin Stacey, it’s another day on the set of his first film, but when his estranged father, a failed Hollywood actor, arrives unexpectedly with a bundle of cash, a gun, and a stolen capuchin monkey, he’s propelled toward the journey that will change his life. The monkey, Henry, has been liberated from a research lab by animal rights activists. Inspired by his friend Veronica to reevaluate his relationship with other species, Kevin learns about the pain and suffering inflicted on lab animals as he forges a bond with the capuchin. When father and son embark on a road trip with Henry, Kevin is caught between the egocentric father who abandoned him and the temperamental monkey whose fate is in his hands. With both the FBI and his mother’s ghost watching, will Kevin risk his career and his father’s freedom to bring the stolen monkey to safety? Meanwhile, Veronica’s encounter with an eccentric Catholic priest triggers her own journey toward change. A heartbreaking yet comic family drama, A Better Heart examines the human-animal bond and the bonds between fathers and sons, challenging readers to explore their beliefs about the treatment of non-human species.
about the author
Chuck Augello is the author of the novel The Revolving Heart, a Best Books of 2020 selection by Kirkus Reviews, and the story collection The Inexplicable Grey Space We Call Love. His work has appeared in One Story, Literary Hub, Juked, Fiction Writers Review, Smokelong Quarterly, The Coachella Review, and other fine journals. He publishes The Daily Vonnegut, a website exploring the life and art of Kurt Vonnegut. He lives in New Jersey with his wife Sheri, his dog Bella, his cats Gracie and Smokey, and a menagerie of unnamed birds and squirrels that inhabit the backyard.