Author: Laurie Frankel
Where I got it: From the publisher, in exchange for an honest review
In the spirit of ONE DAY, comes a fresh and warmhearted love story for the 21st century. 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 one another 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.
Goodbye for Now has everything a girl could want in a fun weekend read – geekery, romance, and a touch of random scandal, in a perfect mix.
Sam is a computer programmer working for a dating service when he is challenged to improve their match algorithm for the site. So, he sets the program up to go beyond the information in the profile, and match people up based on what they really think, rather than the lies they tell in their profiles. Too bad for Sam, he improves the algorithm too much, and ends up losing his job.
However, before he left, he used the algorithm on himself, and met Meredith. Their romance is perfect, until her grandmother passes away, and Meredith is plunged into depression. Sam takes up the challenge of consoling her by creating a new algorithm – one that will mimic and recreate the electronic relationship between a survivor and their deceased loved one.
The program was originally designed just to help Meredith recover from her loss, but eventually goes public with surprising results.
Goodbye for Now explores the meaning of life, love, death, and the afterlife with a wry sense of humor and amusing perspective. I absolutely couldn’t put the book down, and was surprised by how uplifting it was, given the focus on death and the afterlife. This is the first book by Laurie Frankel I’ve read, but I will definitely be looking for more!