I Found My Tribe

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 31 Jan 2018

Member Reviews

Last year, I read Simon Fitzmaurice’s memoir, [book:It's Not Yet Dark|22340465], about his struggle with Motor Neuron Disease. At the time I read his book, he was still alive but he could only communicate with his eyes, and used special technology that allowed him to communicate and type his memoir with the use of eye movement. Sadly, Simon Fitzmaurice died in October of 2017.

In a way, I Found My Tribe is a companion to It’s Not Dark Yet. Ruth Fitzmaurice is Simon’s wife and she writes of the same time period from her own perspective. At the time she wrote her memoir, Simon was still alive. I read an ARC that was clearly written before Simon’s death, and don’t know if it will be...

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I have never not finished a book that I started.  But this will be a first.  I actually feel awful writing the review because I know that the author spent so much time and effort on the writing of this book.  I can't decide if it is the writing style or the story itself that I just cannot get through.  I will not delete this from my kindle but I am going to have to put it to the side for now.  I find the description of the book to be interesting but after getting 16% in I just don't seem to care.  I did receive this from NetGalley and I do appreciate it but I will not be finishing this one for now.
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I had previously started this book before my most recent health scare and hospitalization. People who have so much more on their plate than they know how to handle, how do they manage day to day. How do they work through all the muddles of life, and Ruth with young children and a husband who is suffering from Motor Neuron Disease, how does she cope? How does he? Always, I am looking for words of wisdom, even if one thing shines out from the dark, it is something to grasp, grab a hold of and work toward.

A very introspective read, as Ruth takes us back and forward, to the present in all it's messiness, sometimes hopelessness. Decisions she alone has to make, caretakers, nurses, aides...

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Ruth Fitzmaurice is a woman who sees past the definitions others put on her, on all of us. Those who know her might describe her as a loving wife. A mother. She is known as a writer, although this is her debut book. She would describe herself as a mermaid.

It’s magical, that connection she feels with the sea, the cove with her female friends Michelle and Aifric, who share her enthusiasm, joy for this ritual. Michelle can relate to some of her sorrows, with her husband in a wheelchair, as well. Within the sea she finds solace from life and its myriad ways to submerge you in fear, and return you to shore transformed. On these shores, amid the waves, the ”Tragic Wives Swimming Club” was born...

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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...

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Ruth Fitzmaurice was a 32-year-old aspiring writer with a film-maker husband, and three small children at home. Life was busy but it was good. In 2008 Simon, her husband, was diagnosed with motor neuron disease (or MND) and given four years to live. I Found My Tribe is their story.

"It all started in his foot. His right foot went floppy," then before long Simon lost complete use of his body, having to use his eyes to communicate. Before Simon completely deteriorated, him and Ruth were able to conceive and have twins, so now Ruth not only cares for her husband (with the help of around the clock home healthcare) but also their five children.

As women, we tend to bottle...

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Thanks to Netgalley, the publisher. and the author for allowing me to read and review a digital copy of this book. Her writing felt as jarring, emotional and disjointed as her life as a mother of 5 and young husband with a motor neuron disease.  This was a very moving book.
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This book pulls the reader through the rollercoaster of emotions the author is dealing with raising her five children while her husband is suffering from ALS. She finds solace in the bitter cold ocean and with friends who are suffering from similar loses in life. I enjoyed the writing style of the author. It was not linear, it was not explanatory. It was raw emotion, connected with dreamlike wanderings and a beautifully poetic prose.
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A special thank you to NetGalley and Bloomsbury USA for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

This rambling, manic at times, narrative is a raw and honest book about living with MND (here in Canada known as ALS—amyotrophic lateral sclerosis—or Lou Gehrig's disease). Ruth Fitzmaurice's filmmaker husband, Simon, was diagnosed with motor neurone disease in 2008. He is wheelchair-bound, not able to move or breathe on his own, and can only communicate through the use of an eye gaze computer. It is these eyes that Ruth uses as the windows in which to find her husband—she knows he is still in there even though he can't speak to her, or touch her.

Ruth and Simon are...

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This is a memoir about an Irish married couple with two young kids (and one on the way) who get the devastating news that the husband has MND (Motor Neuron Disease), also known as ALS. This devastating diagnosis portends the degeneration of the muscles, or neurodegeneration.

Two years into this tragic diagnosis, Simon Fitzmaurice was emergently hospitalized for a respiratory issue and was accidentally put on a ventilator. The normal protocol in Ireland is not to employ ventilators in the management of MND. However, Simon emphatically made the decision that he wanted to live, so a home care treatment plan was fashioned and Simon was sent home with the ventilator. Simon eventually lost the...

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The publisher provided a copy of the ePub in exchange for an honest review.

Ruth Fitzmaurice’s brilliantly written memoir I Found My Tribe draws the reader into her world immediately. She writes with such honesty and integrity.

Her tribe—husband, children and devoted friends. Her husband’s many health challenges do not stop her from living and loving. As the primary caregiver, she faces life-changing challenges with the support of her tribe. An outstanding book on how to survive with life’s obstacles. Ruth Fitzmaurice is a positive force and is unstoppable. I Found My Tribe would translate beautifully to the big screen. A must read.
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'I hold his hand but he doesn’t hold back. His darting eyes are the only windows left.'

Ruth’s Tribe is a beautiful intimate memoir not just about husband Simon’s ALS (a motor neuron disease) nor is it focused on her friends, and fellow “Tragic Wives Swimming Club” tales and woes. It’s about everything that happens before and after disease decides to become a permanent family member. It’s the desperation to believe in and try every remedy or treatment on God’s green earth! It’s the torturous crawl as ALS steals Ruth’s beloved from her and their young children, much as the tide erodes the land. Each loss Simon suffers, the deterioration of every function, is a fresh gutting of the...

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From the hauntingly beautiful prose to the poignant story of love, commitment, and finding joy in the midst of loss--Fitzmaurice grabbed me by the heart--and has me still. I so appreciate her sharing this touching life story in such a beautiful, honest way. Reading her story will help you shape and improve the pattern of your own life story. Brava Ms. Fitzmaurice!
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Ruth has 5 children under 10 and a husband with motor neuron disease, also known as ALS. To me, this book read more like a series of abstract, somewhat shallow journal entries jumping from idea to idea: her children, her girlfriends, her own childhood, her home in Ireland, and the constant presence of the now-immobilized husband Simon. I love memoirs where the writer is really speaking from the heart, and I did not get that impression at all reading this book.
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A raw and powerful read by a talented author.  Her writing felt as jarring, emotional and disjointed as her life as a mother of 5 and young husband with a motor neuron disease.  This was a very moving book.
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I can't even begin to explain my feelings on this book, without first saying that the loss of the authors husband is a loss that will be felt around the world once people read this book.
The author pulls you deep into her world with all the pain and anguish she feels from her husband's suffering. Her husband on the other hand, is still intent on doing amazing things. He is paralyzed, and with an eye movement computer system he is able to write and produce a movie. Their story is amazing and that makes this book amazing. It hurts my heart to know of his passing, and to think of the pain Ruth and the children must feel.
I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who...

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There is no cure for Motor Neuron Disease. It’s sad .... no matter how you look at it.
Living with illness in your home every day can’t be ignored.

Simon Fitzmaurice, living with MND, breathed in time to a machine. Fear surrounded the plugs, pipes, and countless malfunctions that could have ended Simon’s life at any moment. Simon was a filmmaker at the time he was diagnosed with MND in 2008.
Ruth, Simon’s wife, 32 years of age, didn’t want Simon to feel afraid. She loved him.

Ruth said:
“Everything about our Home buzzes around my brain like fruit flies that I can’t swat away.”
“Our house has a hum of a stinky compost bin, making it impossible to breathe deeply. I feel...

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This is a remarkably written story of a couple facing unimaginable challenges. Fitzmaurice's strength in the face of such sorrow is inspiring and memorable, and as she finds her tribe the reader is uplifted. It's an original memoir that readers will appreciate for years to come. Highly recommended.
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