Ruth Fitzmaurice is the chieftain of her family tribe, composed of husband Simon and five children. As a family, they grapple with everyday tasks like finding elusive shoes, alongside the extreme challenges of Simon’s Motor Neuron Disease. In her limited ‘me-time’, Ruth seeks solace in the freezing Greystones sea with her other tribe, her friends. Her breath-taking writing hooked me from page one and I savoured her candid account of keeping the show on the road, sometimes crumpled, sometimes a superhero.
Recommended by Vivienne Luke, Dubray Rathmines
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. 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, via diagnosis to their current precarious situation, Ruth also charts her passion for sea swimming - 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.