‘I Found My Tribe is inspiring, humbling and a picture of what love really looks like’ Marian Keyes
An invocation to all of us to love as hard as we can, and live even harder, I Found My Tribe is an urgent and uplifting letter to a husband, family, friends, the natural world and the brightness of life.
Ruth’s tribe are her lively children and her filmmaker husband, Simon, who has Motor Neurone Disease and can only communicate with his eyes. Ruth’s other ‘tribe’ are the friends who gather at the cove in Greystones, Co. Wicklow, and regularly throw themselves into the freezing cold water, just for kicks.
‘The Tragic Wives’ Swimming Club’, as they jokingly call themselves, meet to cope with the extreme challenges life puts in their way, not to mention the monster waves rolling over the horizon.
‘Fitzmaurice tells her story in sparkling prose that is as sinewy as her new sea-strengthened body, and as admirable and boundless as her spirit’, Sunday Times
‘Uplifting and life-affirming’ Stylist
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.