I Found My Tribe: A Memoir

Ruth Fitzmaurice. Bloomsbury, $25 (208p) ISBN 978-1-63557-158-5
Fitzmaurice’s contemplative memoir recalls the emotional roller-coaster of life in the Irish town of Greystones with her husband, five children, and a house constantly filled with caregivers and nurses. Four years after her 2004 marriage, Fitzmaurice’s filmmaker husband, Simon, was diagnosed with ALS (which he explored in his memoir It’s Not Dark Yet). Less than a year later, he was using a wheelchair; in 2010 he was placed on a respirator. With a group of friends, Fitzmaurice started a group called the Tragic Wives’ Swimming Club who together found solace by swimming in the icy ocean water surrounding their town. “Maybe this is some kind of death wish or my sorry soul drawn to eternity,” she writes. “When I swim like this I am fearless.” Fitzmaurice’s free-flowing writing style nicely captures the tedium, stress, and joyful moments of her complex life as the narrative loops back and forth in time before and after her husband’s diagnosis. She chronicles the couple’s early romance, finding their first home, the appearance of her husband’s symptoms, and the births of their children, two of whom were born in 2012. Finding daily doses of joy, the author manages to maintain her sanity and keep her family close. Fitzmaurice is a lyrical writer, and her story is intimate and sad but ultimately one of bravery and survival. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 03/05/2018
Release date: 03/01/2018
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 224 pages - 978-1-63557-293-3
Hardcover - 208 pages - 978-1-4448-3677-6
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