In the midst of a family crisis, Ruth Fitzmaurice found her tribe – and the unexpected solace of the wild Irish Sea.
- Winner of the Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Awards - Newcomer of the Year
- Film rights optioned by Element Pictures
- Updated with a new foreword
I Found My Tribe by Ruth Fitzmaurice
Vintage | 21 June 2018 | Paperback
Ruth Fitzmaurice has two extraordinary families.
She has her husband Simon, a filmmaker with advanced Motor Neurone Disease who can only communicate with his eyes via a computer. Together they have five children under the age of 10, as well as Pappy, a cantankerous Basset Hound. They are kept afloat by relentless army of nurses and carers that flows through their house in Greystones, on the East Coast of Ireland.
And then there is Ruth’s other family - her Tribe of amazing women. Amidst the chaos and the pain that rules their lives, The Tragic Wives Swimming Club congregate together - in summer and winter, on golden afternoons and by the light of the moon - on the sea steps at Women’s Cove. Day after day, they throw themselves into the freezing Irish sea. In that moment, they are free. Later, they will share a thermos of tea, teeth chattering, hands shaking, ready to take on the world once more.
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.
About Ruth Fitzmaurice
Ruth Fitzmaurice was born in 1976 and grew up in Co. Louth, Ireland. She was a radio researcher and producer when she married film director and writer, Simon, in 2004 and had three children. In 2008, Simon was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease and given three years to live. Simon went into respiratory failure in 2010 and was accidentally placed on a ventilator during an emergency procedure. He decided, against medical advice, to keep the ventilator; Ruth and Simon went on to have twins in 2012. In January 2016, Ruth wrote her first piece for the Irish Times about family life and a new passion, sea swimming. She lives in Greystones, Co. Wicklow, with her five children Jack, Raife, Arden, Sadie, Hunter, a dog and a cat. Simon passed away in October 2017.
- 'one of the year’s most arresting, humbling and acute memoirs. It is a catch-in-the-throat, life-affirming work that you want to gulp down in one and recommend to all your friends. 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... This debut is set to become a global bestseller - The Diving-Bell and the Butterfly meets Calendar Girls, with a splash of Roger Deakin. It is also one of a number of recent books by women riding the crest of a wild-swimming wave. Fitzmaurice’s memoir, though, is likely to be the one that exerts the greatest tidal pull.' Sunday Times
- ‘I Found My Tribe is inspiring, humbling and a picture of what love really looks like. An astonishingly beautiful book by an astonishingly beautiful person.’ Marian Keyes
- ‘a lyrical and moving memoir’ The Economist
- ‘Uplifting and life-affirming, this is a manifesto to live as hard and as well as you can’ Stylist
- ‘[this] beautiful book is an enraptured cry at life’s gifts and griefs…Life-affirming and full of love, this book is a clarion call to live life to the full: to dive in for a swim and be brave.’ Psychologies
- ‘A moving memoir of family life, coping with her husband’s motor neurone disease and the icy joys of wild sea swimming.’ Good Housekeeping
- ‘Uplifting and inspiring’ Woman & Home
- ‘Bright with beauty, rawness and rage…Life affirming and full of love.’ Simple Things
- ‘this extraordinary, beautifully written book ebbs and flows with love amid the crises of daily life…a powerful, memorable and life-affirming read.’ Choice
- ‘Fitzmaurice's brilliantly lyrical ear and gentle humour makes this a none-too-distant relative to the likes of Joan Didion and Cheryl Strayed’ Irish Independent
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