Sam works for one of those internet dating sites as a computer programmer. He develops an algorithm that will let people find their soul mates. It’s pretty awesome, really. He uses their emails and buying habits to see what they’re actually like (vs. what they say they’re like) and matches people up. It works really well—he uses it on himself and finds his own soul mate, Meredith; their relationship quickly takes off.
Unfortunately, it works a little TOO well and he ends up getting fired.
At around the same time, Meredith’s grandmother dies and she doesn’t handle it well. (Of course.) Sam tweaks the algorithm and makes a way for Meredith to actually say goodbye to her grandmother. (He uses her emails and creates a simulation of her so that when Meredith emails her, she will write back.) I know that sounds creepy, but it DOES seem to help Meredith.
I was completely enthralled by this novel. It reminded me of a non-creepy Pet Sematary.
I know what you’re thinking, but hear me out.
Both novels are about grief and what that can do to a person, but they’re ALSO about the lengths that we would go to in order to be able to communicate with a loved one after they’re dead.
And I’ll be honest, if I could talk to my dad through email (he died when I was in high school), I absolutely would. And I think that’s a lot healthier than burying him in a haunted cemetery where he will come back, but as a meaner, bloodthirstier version of himself.
But even beyond the ethical and philosophical discussions behind being able to contact loved ones (or the impersonations of loved ones, depending on your viewpoint), this is just a fantastic, engaging story.
I hope to read her earlier releases.