Across the Divide: The Strangest Love Affair


Elizabeth Bernays is the author of Six Legs Walking: Notes from an Entomological LifeHouse of Pictures: Reflections on Art, Memory, and the Meaning of Home, and Three Miles: A Walk for all Seasons. She lives in Tucson, Arizona.

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Nothing prepared Liz, the academic scientist (with a background in Australia and UK) for Linda, the quick-witted eighth-grade dropout from Texas excelling in malapropisms and outlandish jokes. Linda was still married and Liz a grieving widow. How could they sustain a relationship when they had such different personalities, backgrounds, and interests? But despite obvious incompatibilities, their chemistry was undeniable, and the extraordinary contrast was exciting for both of them.

Over time, each of them enthusiastically engaged the other in different pursuits and each of them bonded over the novelties. They introduced each other to their favorite entertainments, with mixed results (Linda found opera boring; Liz cheered for the wrong team at a University of Arizona basketball game). Linda’s jokes kept them constantly alive to humor that offset the complexities of the lives they led when they were apart. But slowly, their shared love of nature, carefree RV trips, and travel abroad (with the help of antianxiety meds for Linda’s first time on a plane), brought them ever closer. Maybe, they realized, they were more alike than they thought, as each pondered their love of being rebels. Maybe their differences were to be celebrated rather than overcome.

With humor and heart, Across the Divide: The Strangest Love Affair reveals how possibilities unfold when we open ourselves to unlikely opportunities.


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