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I found myself in a book slump recently. Nothing I read seemed to catch my interest. I wanted to read something a bit out of my comfort zone... but not SO far out there that it would lose me.
Enter "Goodbye for Now."
Every now and again, I like a good tearjerker (OK, chick book).
Every now and again, I like to read about hypothetical uses for technology.
But I don't think I've ever seen them together.
I enjoyed this book immensely. It was light enough to be what I needed, but not so light that I was choking on its sweetness. There's raw grief and rough edges and hard truths in these pages.
While Repose, a computer program that allows the living to communicate with the electronic likeness of theirDLOs (dead loved ones), is prominent, this book speaks more of a community of the living. How each one of us brings something unique and special to the table. Technology has immense power, for good or for ill or for better or worse, but it can never replace the living human connections we have. Yes, it's important to mourn and grieve, to say whatever needs to be said, to regret things that didn't need to happen... but it's all part of life. To paraphrase one character, "You can't stop time."
I am normally not a big fan of this narrator - I am unsure why - but he did a very good job with this emotional read.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
The premise of this 3.5 star book initially interested me; computer programmer Sam Elling creates an algorithm that matches people with their soul mates, but he is fired when it works too well. He uses it to meet his own perfect match, Meredith, but things begin to go awry when Meredith's grandmother dies. In an effort to ease Meredith's grief, Sam uses (misuses?) his programming ability to give Meredith the ability to electronically communicate with her dead grandmother. Sam and Meredith start their company, RePose, to give others who have lost loved ones this ability to communicate with the dead through email, text, and video chats. This is where the book started to verge into slightly creepy for me.
Goodbye for Now is an innovative and original idea, well-written, and did make me think about healthy responses to death, loss, and grief. There is a conversation between Sam and his father towards the end of the book that is simply beautiful; they are discussing pain and how much parents want to protect their children from pain but knowing how impossible that really is. While the idea was interesting and original, the creepiness factor of that idea kept it from being a really great read for me.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful