At 18, Tré Miller-Rodríguez gave her newborn daughter up for adoption. At 19, her only sibling was killed in a car crash. At 34, she lost her husband to a sudden heart attack. Then, at 36, her now-teenaged daughter found her on Facebook—and began to reshape the course of Tré’s life.
With sharp, immediate prose, Tré unpacks the experience of being young and widowed in New York City: the “dumb sh*% people say”; the “brave face” she wears to work and social events; the solace she doesn’t find in one-night stands; and how her perspective only begins to shift when she spontaneously brings Alberto’s ashes on a trip and sets into motion the ritual of spreading him in bodies of water around the world.
Once she’s begun, Tré discovers that traveling to her bucket list destinations—places like Savannah, Brazil, and Cuba—is a viable strategy for facing her roughest days, and her loss of her husband becomes a lens through which she begins to view her past and embrace her future. By the end of her journey, Tré has quit her corporate job, explored Alberto’s homeland of Cuba, and joyfully reunited with her biological daughter in North Carolina.
Equal parts inspiring, irreverent, and heart-rending, Splitting the Difference is written with the “raw-thenticity” of a woman transformed by heartbreak and inspired by love’s legacy.
Expanded from her blog, Rodriguez's memoir tells the frenetic story of a woman turning grief into courage. It begins in the aftermath of her husband's fatal heart attack: the minutia of planning the funeral, her struggles with quotidian inconveniences and encounters with Alberto's personal effects, and the process of overcoming grief and guilt. Blogospheric immediacy charges the book's pages. She lays her experiences bare in cathartic prose at once touching and shockingly stark, and she delves deep and candidly into her past and present traumas: readers are privy to memories of her husband, her history of unfulfilling relationships, trips abroad with in-laws to scatter ashes, tell-all foibles of dating and sleeping around, the death of her brother in a car accident, an unexpected pregnancy during high school and the difficult decision to give her daughter up for adoption. As she parses buried emotional turmoil, Rodriguez convalesces on the page the prose itself loosens, particularly during the stirring moment of reconnection with her biological daughter. Ultimately, Rodriguez eschews the maudlin, opting instead for the gripping, real work of recovery.