The Social Network meets One Day in an attractive love-and-loss story that applies new technology to the job of soothing broken hearts.
Frankel’s (The Atlas of Love, 2010) inviting second novel comes with a cyber plot twist that demands significant suspension of disbelief. For readers who can, their reward is a cute romance between Sam Elling and Meredith Maxwell, singletons who work at a computer dating service in Seattle. Software engineer Sam writes a brilliant new algorithm that will outstrip all previous matchmaking efforts and tests it on himself. The result is Meredith—a perfect fit—but also termination of employment, since the algorithm will destroy the business through its success. When Meredith’s grandmother, Livvie, dies, Sam creates another algorithm, piecing together Livvie’s emails and video chats, allowing Meredith to carry on communicating with her electronically. And so RePose is born, a controversial business that offers the bereaved the opportunity to stay in computer dialogue with their lost loved ones, provided they have left an electronic memory. The value of this comes home to roost when the plot takes a dark turn, leaving one half of the couple struggling, with RePose’s assistance, to live, love and let go.
An excess of ethics overshadows the simple love story, but there’s no denying Frankel’s warmth, wit and ingenuity in this cleverly conceived charmer.