Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Release Day Review: It's Not Yet Dark by Simon Fitzmaurice

Title: It's Not Yet Dark 
Author: Simon Fitzmaurice 
Source: Publisher 
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 
Published: August 1st, 2017 
Purchase: Amazon | B&N | HMH 

Summary: In 2008, Simon Fitzmaurice was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease (also known as ALS). He was given four years to live. In 2010, in a state of lung-function collapse, Simon knew with crystal clarity that now was not his time to die. Against all prevailing medical opinion, he chose to ventilate in order to stay alive. Here, the young filmmaker, a husband and father of five small children, draws us deeply into his inner world. Told in simply expressed and beautifully stark prose—in the vein of such memoirs as Jean-Dominique Bauby's The Diving Bell and the Butterfly—the result is an astonishing journey into a life which, though brutally compromised, is lived more fully and in the moment than most, revealing at its core the power of love its most potent. Written using an eye-gaze computer, It's Not Yet Dark is an unforgettable book about relationships and family, about what connects and separates us as people and, ultimately, about what it means to be alive.




At 165 pages, It’s Not Yet Dark is a book I read in one short sitting; but it is one that will stay with me forever. Written using an eye-gaze computer, Simon Fitzmaurice’s beautifully authored memoir is told simply and honestly. Sharing moments from his meeting of wife Ruth, the births of their children, and his successful career as a filmmaker, Mr. Fitzmaurice gives us these amazing glimpses into his life leading up to the moments when he realized something was very wrong. When he was diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease, or Motor Neurone Disease), it threatened to rob him of his career and, most importantly, his life; but Simon wasn’t having it, and the determination and courage he possesses are what transforms this book from heartbreaking to heartwarming. I adore the way he writes about his wife and children, as well as family and friends. It's a beautiful thing when a man can express his love so eloquently and freely. 

This is an eye-opening look at an awful disease and the vastly different approaches medical personnel had in treatment as well as non-treatment plans. An absolutely inspiring story about love, determination, and the will to live, It’s Not Yet Dark is a book I wholly recommend to everyone. 

I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. 

Praise for It's Not Yet Dark:

“Beautifully written. Utterly life-affirming.” 
 —Alan Rickman 

“[A] gripping, affecting, sometimes funny read by a natural-born storyteller with something to say about the weight and the value of a life...If you need a story of courage, of heart, of coming back for more, of love and struggle and the power of both, It's Not Yet Dark could be the elusive thing you're after.”
—Joseph O'Connor 

“A beautiful love story - in its essence that's what this is. Survival stories are not about surviving, they're inherently about what makes a survivor push through. A desire to remain in the light of all creation, even as a darkening is taking place. A darkening which happens to us all.”
—Colin Farrell 

“Part memoir, part stark document of the way [Simon] and his family have dealt with motor neuron disease, and part fierce celebration of being alive, It's Not Yet Dark is powerful, gripping and compelling.”
The Irish Times 



SIMON FITZMAURICE is an award-winning writer and film director. His debut memoir, It's Not Yet Dark, was a #1 bestseller upon its release in Ireland, has been nominated for the Bord Gáis Book of the Year Award, and was ranked #2 in Liveline's Writer's Book of the Year. His films have screened at film festivals all over the world and won prizes, including Best Short Film at the Cork Film Festival and the Belfast Film Festival (twice); the Grand Jury Prize at the Opalcine Film Festival, Paris; the Jimmy Stewart Memorial Award at the Heartland Film Festival; and Jury Award at the Palm Springs International Film Festival. His short film The Sound of People was selected to screen at the Sundance Film Festival. Simon holds honors master's degrees in both Anglo-Irish literature and drama, and film theory and production. His short fiction has been short-listed for the Hennessy Literary Award, and his poetry has appeared in the quarterly publication West 47. His first feature film, My Name Is Emily, was just released in both the UK and the United States. He lives in Greystones, Ireland, with his wife, Ruth; their five children, Jack, Raife, Arden, Sadie, and Hunter; and their basset hound, Pappy. 

© at A Belle's Tales

  

12 comments:

  1. I mean... Colin Farrell and Alan Rickman blurbed it which is just awesome. It is also amazing that this was written with an eye gaze computer. Great review Wifey!

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    1. He is such an inspiration, and this is an incredible read! Thank you :)

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  2. What an inspiration. It is so amazing that he has done great things despite his illness, like writing a book with an eye gaze computer. I need to check this out. Just reminds you that no matter how tough things get, they can always be worse.

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    1. Absolutely, Heidi! And he writes beautifully, too -- I definitely think you would love this wonderful memoir.

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  3. Anonymous8/01/2017

    I had not heard of Simon until this review, he sounds amazing and now I can't wait to pick this up and also look into his films. Thanks for putting this and Simon on my radar :)) -Jamie

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    1. I'm so happy you're going to get this lovely book and that you are looking into his films. I'm really looking forward to watching It's Not Yet Dark as well. Thank you, Jamie :)

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  4. Thank you for introducing me to this author and his book!

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    1. My pleasure! I hope you will enjoy this book as much as I did :)

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  5. Wow, this sounds like one we all should read. Thanks Michele.

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    1. It absolutely is, Kim. So inspiring!

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  6. This book sounds life-changing and inspirational! (And puts my life "struggles" in perspective, for sure!) Thanks for sharing! <3

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    1. It truly is, Nyssa! I know you would love and appreciate this book so much <3

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