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Lauren Maris Across the Bridge

Lauren grew up in Cape Town, South Africa, and after graduating with a BA in languages, followed by an Honours degree in French Teaching, she travelled to China and Europe as a language student and teacher. She has also pursued various therapeutic qualifications for many years, and continues to develop these skills, enjoying incorporating such themes in her writing. Lauren is most passionate about reading and writing stories that help readers feel less alone, and which encourage authenticity and self-expression. 
Across the Bridge is her first novel.

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Rachel and Tamara are freshmen at Carolina University in the countryside of North Carolina. Despite their extremely different lifestyles, the two strike up an unlikely connection, and one night after going out clubbing, they discover that they are connected by a secret that neither of them expected. In the wake of this shock, they struggle with their tenuous friendship, each with their own agenda for dealing with the secret. Through this fraught experience, both Rachel and Tamara begin to see responsibility in a new light, as they grapple with self-

acceptance and what it means to be an adult.

This extract takes place about halfway through Chapter One. The reader is already vaguely acquainted with Rachel’s loneliness, knows that she is a language student, and that she has shuffled from therapist to therapist for many years.