Monday, January 29, 2018

I Found My Tribe by Ruth Fitzmaurice

*Disclosure of material connection- I received a copy of the book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for my honest thoughts. I was not required to write a positive review and all opinions stated are 100% my own. 

About the book-

Ruth's tribe are her lively children and her filmmaker husband Simon who has ALS 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. Swimming is just one of the daily coping strategies as Ruth fights to preserve the strong but now silent connection with her husband. As she tells the story of their marriage, from diagnosis to their long-standing precarious situation, Ruth also charts her passion for swimming in the wild Irish Sea--culminating in a midnight swim under the full moon on her wedding anniversary.
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.

My thoughts-

I enjoy reading memoirs, but it is difficult to know what to expect when reading a memoir of someone stuck in a precarious position such as being the wife of someone who suffers from ALS. It is a life no one could imagine unless put in that exact situation and I think it is why I feel compelled to read books like these. It was the same reason I felt an obligation to read When Breathe Becomes Air. I find it vital as a human to try to understand the lives of others when we can and these memoirs are a great way to peek into these lives, and understand a little of what they go through. Ruth is an open book and honest in her essays. At first, I wasn't sure if I liked the essay format, but as the book progressed, I realized it was really the only way this book could have been written. These are snippet's from Ruth's day to day so to have short essays on these days was definitely the way to go. I applaud Mrs. Fitzmaurice for having the courage to share her feelings, and not sugar coating the unpleasant ones. Life can be hard without an ailing spouse, let alone seeing the love of your life suffer. I recommend this book to anyone who likes reading memoirs. 

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