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Sometimes the end is just the beginning....
Sam Elling works for an internet dating company, but he still can't get a date. So he creates an algorithm that will match you with your soul mate. Sam meets the love of his life, a coworker named Meredith, but he also gets fired when the company starts losing all their customers to Mr. and Ms. Right.
When Meredith's grandmother, Livvie, dies suddenly, Sam uses his ample free time to create a computer program that will allow Meredith to have one last conversation with her grandmother. Mining from all her correspondence - email, Facebook, Skype, texts - Sam constructs a computer simulation of Livvie who can respond to email or video chat just as if she were still alive. It's not supernatural; it's computer science.
Meredith loves it, and the couple begins to wonder if this is something that could help more people through their grief. And thus, the company RePose is born. The business takes off, but for every person who just wants to say good-bye, there is someone who can't let go.
In the meantime, Sam and Meredith's affection for each other deepens into the kind of love that once tasted, you can't live without. But what if one of them suddenly had to?
This entertaining novel delivers a charming and bittersweet romance, as well as a lump in the throat exploration of the nature of love, loss, and life (both real and computer simulated).
Maybe nothing was meant to last forever, but then again, sometimes love takes on a life of its own.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Daryl on 02-15-17
A Living Community
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
By Bonny on 08-31-12
Interesting, original, but slightly creepy idea
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