Creston library’s living book offering insight into couples living apart together

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Linda Breault will discuss Living Apart Together at the Creston Valley Public Library on Sept. 13.

Linda Breault will discuss Living Apart Together at the Creston Valley Public Library on Sept. 13.

Is it possible to be independent … together? In her provocative new book, Living Apart Together: A New Possibility for Loving Couples, Linda Breault follows partners who have struggled to find alternatives to the traditional idea that they must live together to be considered a couple. These individuals have created happiness in their relationships by maintaining their own autonomy.

Breault will explore the writing of this book, and her own travels and relationships at the Creston Valley Public Library on Sept. 13.

“Professionals searching for ways to balance career and home life, empty nesters who want to rekindle the fire, or single parents searching for an alternative to a blended family, have found ways to revitalize their relationships through independence, and have kept their unions, and their romance, alive,” says Breault of her conversations with a number of people, her inspiration for this book.

According to Statistics Canada, approximately 1.9 million Canadians aged 20 and over were in a “living apart together” arrangement in 2011. It’s not a huge number, but it is growing, particularly in one category — the 60-plus — where it jumped from 1.8 per cent to 2.3 per cent from 2001-2011.

Living Apart Together explores this small but growing trend in an engaging and informative collection of diverse voices of writers who have considered a new unconventional model of love that is lived apart, a relationship that allows both independence and intimacy. The book shares the stories of women and men, single or married, who have chosen to adapt and develop innovative models of being together that allows them the freedom of being apart with the love and support of being together, and provides a glimpse into the pluses, the challenges and questions behind living apart together. As a “living apart together” relationship isn’t for every couple and, for some, it is an involuntary decision, their stories are included as part of the 25 varied tales of love in this era.

The B.C.-raised Breault holds degrees from the University of BC, University of Victoria and Simon Fraser University. Her careers in Canada span a lifetime of work with young people and women, but her joy is in international work supporting marginalized people in self-development and self-reliance. She has lived, loved and worked in Africa, Latin America, New Zealand, Australia, Central Asia and China.

The Creston Valley Public Library’s Living Book speaker series is a way for community members to learn from each other. Living “books” are real people, your friends and neighbours, volunteering to share aspects of their own “story”. Through living books the library seeks to encourage the sharing of knowledge and passion between people. Topics are varied, from art to travel to local history to coping with loss, and everything in between. Attendees of the speaker series learn more about the people in their community and their diverse backgrounds and expertise.

Hear Breault’s story at 1:30 p.m. Sept. 13 at the Creston Valley Public Library. For more information, call the library at 250-428-4141.

—CRESTON VALLEY PUBLIC LIBRARY