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Splitting the Difference: A Heart-Shaped Memoir

4.25  ·  Rating Details ·  163 Ratings  ·  31 Reviews
At 18, Tré 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. But at 36, her teenage daughter found her on Facebook and began to reshape the course of Tré’s life. The sum of these milestones is Splitting the Difference: A Heart-Shaped Memoir, a nonfiction work that is equal ...more
Kindle Edition, 293 pages
Published March 5th 2013 by She Writes Press
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Mandy Goldberg
Apr 13, 2013 Mandy Goldberg rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone with a pulse
This book earned an esteemed place on my bookshelf because of its unexpectedly searing, shamelessly raw storytelling. As though sitting with a friend and recounting the story for the first time, Miller Rodríguez deftly unravels these 12+ months following Alberto's death without sentimentality or fear of judgement. She does not try to turn her husband into a martyr, nor she give in to playing the role of the victim. She presents herself, Alberto and their marriage nakedly—warts and all, when ...more
Apr 07, 2013 Clementine rated it really liked it
It's been a while since I've read a book that really hooked me. I've floated through multiple books at a time, picking up and putting down depending on the room I'm in. I started to think it was me- then I read Splitting the Difference. I first cracked it while waiting in the car and by the second page I could feel my whole body settling down and into the story. THIS was what I had been waiting for. The descriptions and details are shattering. The opening scene is in no way sugar coated- it's ...more
Apr 25, 2013 Tina rated it it was amazing
This is more of a thank you than a review. Of course the book was amazing and well written and flowed beautifully and I would of read it in one sitting if I didn't actually need to eat, or sleep. But what I really want to say is Thank you to Tre, for allowing us the reader to join her on her journey to healing. The rawness and honesty taps into the reader's emotions and brings them to a place where you think about how you would react, how would you make it through the day. A person can not ...more
Jun 11, 2013 Lesley rated it it was amazing
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this memoir. I never thought I would be saying these words because I ONLY read fiction books. I can't believe how much I enjoyed a non-fiction book and a memoir at that. I was so enamored with the author and her story because of the clever and witty way she talks about her life. You feel connected to her, you feel drawn to her, and you feel like you need to know more about her. The book is incredibly well written and so honest that it makes you laugh, cry, and feel ...more
Claire Simms
Jun 21, 2013 Claire Simms rated it it was amazing
Beautiful, full of joy, and heart-wrenching all at the same time. The kind of book where you go to hide your eyes to get through the painful parts like you would at a scary movie. And just when you think your heart can't take's like Tre knows you can't, because she couldn't either....her biting wit and somehow light-hearted sense of humor come through. Read this book now, then remind yourself that you don't actually know Tre, because you're going to feel like she's been with you forever.
Betsy Talbot
Dec 12, 2014 Betsy Talbot rated it it was amazing
Wow, if you want to read a raw story about grief and making it through that first year, this one is it. The author is unflinching in her story, even when it is unflattering to herself. It is more than a story of grief; it is a story trusting what you need, accepting your faults, and moving forward imperfectly. Her style of writing is immediately engaging, and even though she lives a life far different than mine, I felt drawn to her story.
May 21, 2013 Laura rated it really liked it
This story is very real and raw. Tre does not sugar coat the ups and many downs she encounters after the loss of her husband. I was rooting for her all along, and was very inspired by her strength. If anything, Tre makes you realize that life is fragile and to be appreciative of everything you have.
James Wallman
Mar 09, 2015 James Wallman rated it it was amazing
Roller-coaster, page-turner, funny-sad-true & above all human story… How do you keep a reader reading when they know that the guy is going to die, has to die, and does die early on in the story? Tre Miller Rodriguez does it with brutal, unedited honesty and snappy sentences that hurtle the reader through the story: the morning she wakes up to find her husband dead, what she says to the emergency caller, what she should write for the eulogy, what she should wear for the viewing, how at the ...more
Rachel Kramer Bussel
Jan 19, 2014 Rachel Kramer Bussel rated it it was amazing
I discovered Rodriguez via her column for, and was intrigued enough to want to check out her memoir. Her husband's death comes at the start of the book; then, tracing backwards, she shares the story of how they got together, her decision to give up her daughter for adoption when she became pregnant at 18, and her brother's death. The core of the book, though, is about the practical matters surrounding the death of her husband of four years, Alberto. The shock of discovering him ...more
Lene Fogelberg
Aug 20, 2015 Lene Fogelberg rated it it was amazing
Shelves: memoir
Splitting the Difference: A Heart-Shaped Memoir has been on my to-read list for quite some time, I wanted to read it as I was ingrigued by Tré's experiences and all she has gone through. The first pages are shocking, describing the passing of her husband, Alberto, and the immediate events afterwards. I could not put the book down as I was completely drawn into it. When I read on I was suprised by the beauty, the humor and the life that is pouring out of the pages, although covering so much ...more
Apr 20, 2013 Sara rated it it was amazing

I came across Tre's blog quite recently and I just had to keep reading it from the first post to the last.
When I finished, I knew I had to read the book.

In about four short years, she has met the love of her life in the most unexpected, magic way, and lost him in the most tragic one.
It was not the story per se that kept me wanting to read what Tre has to say: I am lucky enough to have never experienced such grief. Rather, it is the way Tre recounts the events, conveys her emotions.
How she is
Jan 13, 2014 Tara rated it really liked it
I give nothing away by saying that Splitting the Difference: A Heart-Shaped Memoir begins with the death of the author's husband, but even knowing that before I began didn't prepare me for the experience of reading about it.
The story, sadly, is not unique - young widow struggles to find herself in the wake of her husband's death. What makes this story hit so hard is the author's voice. Tré Miller Rodriguez writes in a stream-of-consciousness, did-I-ever-tell-you-about-that-time-when, raw, hones
Apr 11, 2013 Casey rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I've been reading Tré's blog for a long time now, so I knew I would love this memoir — I just didn't realize how much I'd love it. She is so honest with her feelings and never apologizes for any of them. It's a refreshing, honest look at love and grief and all of the complicated emotions that come with that. In the first 50 pages, I cried three times, laughed a few others, and missed my stop on the T because I was so engrossed. I felt like I knew Alberto after reading this book; it came alive to ...more
Feb 23, 2014 Shari rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It's been a long time since I was as compelled to finish a story as I was with Tre's memoir. Even though I knew there are no big secrets or surprises to unfold, I was consumed with Tre's journey. I dog-eared many pages so that I can continue to be inspired with (and share with others) her and her/Alberto's experiences, philosophy and life lessons. I am so glad for Tre that she found the strength and courage to Split the Difference and that she shared the Difference with us. And, as I move on to ...more
Jul 20, 2016 Myra rated it really liked it
I entered a giveaway for this book, but didn't win. I knew it was something I would enjoy reading so this year, I finally ordered a copy. The USPS damaged it quite a bit, but I was still able to read happy to have read it...really connected with the "what ifs" and the "grief" associated with loosing a spouse suddenly...must continue to see what Tre is up to...following her at
Sara Salomons
Oct 16, 2013 Sara Salomons rated it it was amazing
I read Tre's piece in Modern Love in the Sunday Times and instantly felt a strong pull to read more. I zipped through the book. Couldn't put it down. So real, honest, vulnerable, heartbreaking, engaging, and gutsy. And so full of love and grace. As one who deals with grief of others professionally (I'm a minister), her raw and unfiltered look has given me deeper insight and perspective. Thank you for your offering.
Apr 09, 2013 Natasha rated it it was amazing
I could not put the book down. I feel like I know Tre personally after this book. I felt like I was invited into her close circle reading her story and journey after Alberto's death. I didn't want it to end. I can't wait to meet/hear her at the book reading in NC in May.
Chaley Swift
Jan 24, 2014 Chaley Swift rated it liked it
Over all this is a good read, it is just a really unfamiliar lifestyle to me. It talks about grief, and while grief is universal, the way she works through her grief is something only the privileged and wealthy can do.
Nov 07, 2013 Misty rated it it was amazing
I cried many times reading this book. I am amazed at how resilient the human heart can be. Tre experienced great love and great loss, and yet she is ready to love and embrace life. Brillant author. Brilliant story.
Jun 25, 2013 Regina rated it really liked it
A really sad story but it had it's uplifting moments. Didn't give it a 5 because near the end it just carried on and I was ready for it to be over. Follow her blog if you're interested in learning more about her story:
Mar 29, 2013 Ninotchka rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read Splitting the Difference with the same immediacy I read Tre's blog when I first discovered it and, just like her blog, it does not disappoint. Bless you, Tre! May you continue to "split the difference with such love, grace & honesty. Can't wait for the next one! xo
Amelia Moore
Mar 19, 2014 Amelia Moore rated it it was amazing
Tre's book will hook you and inspire you from the first page. Raw, beautiful emotions laid out on page after page. This is no oversight of the grief process but pure feeling of what Tre experienced. Great read and great story.
Christine Warner
Jun 11, 2013 Christine Warner rated it it was amazing
Amazing book! I laughed and cried and wanted to be her best friend! I love non-fiction and this was one of the most honest and beautifully written books I have read in a long time. I can't wait to read future books from her!
Michael J
Jan 30, 2014 Michael J rated it it was amazing
This book captures raw emotion in a way I have never experienced before. It's a page turning that will make you laugh, cry and relate to characters on a level which you haven't experienced before. Get ready for a truly amazing experience.
Amy Mcveigh
Feb 03, 2014 Amy Mcveigh rated it it was amazing
This book was so good. I read it in one day! The story was both heartbreaking me beautiful. The love that Tré and Alberto shared made the loss of him all the more tragic. It was a well written and eloquently told story.
Jul 03, 2013 Meagan rated it it was amazing
i like books about people going through shit. this was a lot better than Heaven is Here. less Mormon-y. I think I'd like to be friends with Tre. Nie Nie, not so much.
Aug 03, 2013 Marcia rated it really liked it
I started reading this at a nail salon. Big mistake. Instant tears. Just in general don't read this book in public because Tré's heartache is so raw and visceral that you can't help but cry.
Nov 08, 2013 Jacqui rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So many similarities to my own loss that I had to sometimes close the book, exhale, then continue. Loved it!
Oct 13, 2013 Elaine marked it as to-read
Just read an article by the author in nyt and her story sounds fascinating
Aug 24, 2016 Melissa rated it liked it
Shelves: grief-nonfiction
First of all I am not sure why this was recommended by an atheist site. It came off pretty religious from the beginning.
Second of all though this was a good read that grabbed you I found myself not enjoying it.
Honestly I found myself saying it must be nice a lot as I read this. The author comes from a privileged lifestyle and like other authors writes about it since it is what she knows. I cannot relate to people like that and sometimes I am left confused about it. A new wedding band for the vi
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As a young publicist, Tré Miller Rodríguez fell in love with a 30-something Cuban ad exec and married him on the eighth date. Their love story—and his sudden death four years later—became the inspiration for "Splitting the Difference: A Heart-Shaped Memoir" and her popular blog, An award-winning copywriter and UC Berkeley graduate, Tré’s essays have appeared in The New ...more
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