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“A lyrical and moving memoir.” –The Economist
 
“A moving memoir of family life, coping with her husband's motor neuron disease and the icy joys of wild sea swimming.” –Good Housekeeping UK
 
“An uplifting, life-celebrating memoir written amid extremely difficult circumstances.” – Kirkus Reviews
 
“A moving and emotional piece of writing, Fitzmaurice's captivating memoir shares her unique experience and invites the reader to realize the strength of love and the support of true friendship.” –Booklist

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In 2008, Ruth Fitzmaurice and her husband Simon were happily married and expecting their third child when tragedy struck: Simon was diagnosed with ALS. Given only three years to live, Simon eventually went against medical advice to stay on a ventilator. Ten years later, Simon was immobile and only able to speak through an eye computer, but nevertheless he and Ruth lived a vibrant, creative life together in happy chaos. They went on to have twins, Simon became the first filmmaker to direct a film with nothing but an eye computer, and Ruth wrote an acclaimed memoir, which has remained a fixture on international bestseller lists.  Simon sadly passed away last year, in October 2017.
 
That memoir is I FOUND MY TRIBE (March 6, 2018 | Hardcover | 208 pg | 9781635571585), in which Ruth shares an intimate view of her life and how she finds joy by swimming in the cold waters of the Irish Sea.
 
Written in real time in impressionistic, evocative prose, Ruth teases out the fluctuating emotions in her head. Ruth admits that caring for five children and a disabled husband takes its toll, but, astonishingly, even Ruth’s darkest feelings are handled with a light touch. Ruth’s voice is joyful, often exuberant. As The Irish Times said, this book is “utterly devoid of sentimentality and yet moving beyond words. Honest and raw, yet never mawkish.”
 
I FOUND MY TRIBE is a joyous ode to a life lived fully, peppered with brilliant moments of beauty. Along the coast of her seaside home, Ruth joins two of her friends as they dive into the frigid waves and emerge each time with renewed purpose. They laughingly call themselves the Tragic Wives Swimming Club. It’s what keeps Ruth going, this “secret society of the hurt,” in spite of all that she and her family have suffered. “The sea is my salvation,” she says. “It shocks my body back to life, as rain darts on the sea surface on a misty, romantic day.” She still swims, nearly every day.
 
With the help of these women, who she calls her “tribe,” Ruth finds freedom from what could be a devastatingly sad situation. It all feels like magic, this ability to turn tragedy into joy. But Ruth’s secret is simply love: the love of her friends, the unconditional love for her children, the great love between her and Simon. “This life is comical and cruel,” Ruth says. “Yet I still hold on to my husband’s magnificent heart.”
 
RUTH FITZMAURICE was a radio researcher and producer. In 2017, Ruth published her memoir I Found My Tribe in Ireland to great acclaim. I Found My Tribe was the winner of the Sunday Independent Newcomer of the Year at the 2017 Irish Book Awards.

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