Author:Simon Fitzmaurice

Publisher: HMH

ISBN: 978-1-528-91671-6

Simon Fitzmaurice, author of It’s Not Yet Dark, has travelled extensively, is an award winning filmmaker and director, now novelist, and has ALS. (2017, inside back cover) He has survived far longer than most with this debilitating disease and has continued to do his lifelong work of directing and writing films. His love for life is perhaps second to none. This book is currently in production and will be released as a film in December of this year on NetFlix.

I had not read any publicity about this book prior to embarking on the read for this review. Thus, when Fitzmaurice opens with his flopping foot as he is walking I was eager to find out what was amiss. He approaches this scene with wit followed by bittersweet memories and a sense of foreboding at what lies ahead. Sadly, he later learns that a shoe salesperson may have made his initial diagnosis with the shocked look on his face when he inquired about his strange flopping foot condition.

The book flashes back between his (Fitzmaurice) own childhood and his years prior to his marriage with Ruth. It provides the reader with keen insight into all of the many things he has done over his lifetime and how his love for film has developed into his life dream fulfilled. What a lucky man!

As this disease progresses Fitzmaurice allows the reader to see and feel how he feels and what limits and lack of limits he breaks to move ahead in this differing life he was dealt. His love and wife, Ruth, and family are central to how his will to live stays strong even in the worst of times.

Fitzmaurice describes how he is able to continue to father children even with this steadily progressing disease. He always takes part in the birth and delights in his children’s innocence and love. He has five children that he would do anything for and give everything to. They are the core of his being.

Fitzmaurice writes from a position of love and hope. He is inspiring and always ready to continue to live regardless of his prognosis and setbacks. He has triumphed in life and in his industry and been humbled by his ALS, but never given up. There is so much to learn from him that my words cannot begin to describe how amazing his persona made me feel. How lucky we all are to be healthy. I am certain you will enjoy this read and learn that your problems pale by comparison.