One of Marie Fleming's last acts before she died from Multiple Sclerosis in late 2013 was to complete her memoir. A woman described by the High Court President as 'one of the most remarkable witnesses to come before the courts', during her landmark case against the Irish State to lift the ban on assisted suicide, here she tells the personal story behind the public face.
From her young years growing up in Donegal, as she struggled to keep her family together after her mother left, to her battle to keep her own first-born child, born when she herself was still a teenager, to her later quest for education and self-betterment, against the odds, AN ACT OF LOVE is an unforgettable story of ambition and of life lived to the full, of coming to terms with MS, and of sorrow and abiding love.
It's also the story of a court case which, although lost, nonetheless succeeded in bringing a crucial issue - a person's right to die with dignity - into keen public and political focus. Full of courage and quiet dignity, AN ACT OF LOVE is an outstanding book for our times.
It is many years since I first read Marie Fleming's account of growing up in Donegal, but her story stayed with me and it is with a pang of great pride I see it finally in print, along with all the joys and sorrows that followed. The heart of a writer beats in these sentences, and a writer's hard work is seen on every page: tell it straight, keep it close, let people know. - Anne Enright
An unflinching account of the relentless march of a dreadful disease...compelling - Irish Mail on Sunday
Written in simple and forthright prose, [An Act of Love] depicts a formidable character who may have ultimately lost her legal battle but could count herself as a survivor in the truest sense of that word... Brave and touching - Sunday Business Post
There are books that should be written and books that need to be written and then there are books like An Act of Love, that push and fight their way out into the world against all the odds - Irish Independent
Remarkable - Irish Times