A psychologist/aid worker who's been too busy trotting the globe to find love strikes up a long distance relationship with a man she's never met.
LOVE AT THE SPEED OF EMAIL is a reflection on the nature of home wrapped up in a long distance love story. The memoir follows the relationship of Lisa, a psychologist who works with aid and development workers around the world, and Mike, a man she meets through email. A lifelong wanderer, Lisa shares her struggles to figure out where home is as she reaches a point in her life where she wants to forge a home with someone. She and Mike get to know each other from afar, hoping that they might one day find home together. Much of their correspondence is included in the book.
Hanging over the burgeoning relationship is the constant danger that Lisa and Mike won't actually like each other when they finally meet. They have the added challenge of being in isolating, emotionally draining professions. They are hesitant to pour too much into each other, knowing that they could be creating an ideal person who won't be able to live up to their expectations. However, they understand each other better because they both know what it's like to tackle suffering and injustice, often without being able to see the difference they are making in the world. It is this shared experience and passion that creates such a bond between them from afar.
As many of you know, I'm a veteran of a long distance relationship (New York/London - Arizona/Hong Kong - Hong Kong/London). I know what it feels like to wonder whether you'll still get along with someone when you finally live in the same country (it took us 3 1/2 years to manage it). Although this memoir was slow-moving at times, Lisa's approach to the situation shows a balance between practicality, romance and caution that's right on target. Throughout the book, she opens up about her worries, hopes and thoughts about home in a way that will speak to people in long distance relationships as well as expats around the world.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author. The Kindle version is $9.99.
Have you been in a long distance relationship before? How about an internet relationship with someone you hadn't met in person? Would you do it again?