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text 2017-07-03 14:54
I couldn't help but finish this last night
It's Not Yet Dark - Simon Fitzmaurice

Thank you to the publisher for the ARC.   It was compelling me, and still staring at me at the end of my shift, and I decided to read this book.  I did so of my own volition and no one contacted me at any point, not to leave a review, much less a positive one.   

 

And once I started, it still just compelled me.   With a lot of short sentences, this manages to be truly poetic.   The cadence after a while is calming, lulling, partly because the words, and the sentiments, are so beautiful. 

 

This is a memoir of a young man who is diagnosed with ALS, and yet it's so much more.   It's a musing on life, without giving concrete answers.   It's one man's journey from grief, to hope, from the diagnoses of death to living with the specter of death, but also living life fully.  

 

It's a book that flows through past, and the present, to create a full picture of a life full of love and support.   It's gorgeously written, an even more impressive feat when you realize it's written with an eye gaze computer.   (Which is also how he's directing movies, now.)

 

This was a hard read in so many ways, and I found myself crying at more than one point.   Sometimes out of sadness, but more times than I expected out of happiness.   When his wife stands by him, when he finds ways to connect with his young children, when he decides he can not only live but still do the work he loves.    Small moments.   Moments from the past that you know won't be repeated as control is stripped from him, something that is made clear from the back of this book. 

 

I wanted to read more by him, but alas, there is no more.   His wife has a book coming out, another memoir, and I plan on checking it out as well.   

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text 2017-07-02 21:53
Reading progress update: I've read 152 out of 176 pages.
It's Not Yet Dark - Simon Fitzmaurice

This is so lovely, I don't want it to end quite yet.  I'll finish it tomorrow morning on the porch, in the sun.   Tonight, I'm going out to a baseball game, and to watch fireworks later on. 

 

I think the author would approve, as it follows his live life to the fullest credo.

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text 2017-07-02 20:30
Reading progress update: I've read 83 out of 176 pages.
It's Not Yet Dark - Simon Fitzmaurice

"They are there because they have made a decision about my standard of living.   To them it is inconceivable that I would want to live."

 

These are incredibly powerful sentences.   This is an incredibly powerful book.

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text 2017-07-02 19:02
Reading progress update: I've read 67 out of 176 pages.
It's Not Yet Dark - Simon Fitzmaurice

"But the simple truth is that a better life helps all of us."

 

This is a surprisingly charming book, in which the author speaks with stark transparency and eloquent simplicity about his life before and after he is diagnosed with ALS, or Lou Gehrig's disease.   I picked this up despite the worries that this would be, counter to the title, dark and depressing.   It kept nagging at me, and the ARC was still staring at me, so, yes, I picked it up.   (Apparently this is for the paperback and the hardcover came out years ago.)

 

It's got dark moments, as he realizes his body is failing him, during his diagnoses, and afterwards dealing with it.   And yet, for the most part, both Simon Fitzmaurice, and his wife Ruth, keep thinking positively and try to the live the best life possible.   They're grateful for each other, their children, good movies and good food.   

 

And I'm finding myself just wrapped up in their story.

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review 2017-05-08 00:00
The Best Is Yet To Come
The Best Is Yet To Come - Bella Andre

Sarah Barstow comes from a family of extraordinary women, but somewhere along the way she lost the strength to back it up. She left home to find herself and wound up losing more than she could have ever dreamed. Calvin Vaughn has seen his share of tragedies. From losing his parents in the most heartbreaking of ways to finding out that sometimes love, may just not be enough. In his darkest moments, his brightest light of hope was his precious sister that gave him the will to move forward and build a secure life for her. But when love calls his name, will he heed the call of his broken heart and first love? In order to build a future, you must face your past. We live, we learn and we move on. Bella Andre writes stories that trigger many emotions all at once. The Best is Yet to Come is like taking a blind leap of faith and gaining a reward on the other side. Remarkable story.

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