Winner of the 2013 Endeavor Award
New York Times Editor's Choice
Sam Elling is taking the social network to the next level: the afterlife.
Sam Elling works for an internet dating company, but he still can't get a date. So he creates an algorithm to match people with their soul mates. The technology fixes Sam up with Meredith, the love of his life, but it also gets him fired when the product works so well the company starts losing all their customers.
When Meredith's grandmother Livvie dies suddenly, Sam reconfigures the algorithm so that Meredith can keep in touch with her. Mining from all her correspondence—texts, emails, social media, video chats—Sam constructs a computer simulation of Livvie, who responds just as if she were still alive. It's not magic or supernatural; it's computer science.
Meredith loves her virtual Livvie, so the couple launches a business to help others through their grief. But as the company takes off, it proves more complicated than any of them imagined. For every person who just wants to say goodbye, there is someone who can't let go. Meanwhile, Sam and Meredith's affection for one another deepens into the kind of love that comes once in a lifetime, a love that neither of them could live without. But what if they suddenly had to?
This high-concept and emotionally hard-hitting novel delivers a mind-bending, bittersweet love story for the 21st century and a heartrending 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.
"Frankel's clever and well-considered second novel extends the reach of technology just beyond our fingertips, where it feels possible."
--The New York Times, Editor's Choice
"Frankel is unafraid to take on big questions as she weaves together her entertaining and thought-provoking story. The result is an imaginative tale that explores life, love and what lasts." --BookPage
"This is an unforgettable, heartbreaking novel about love after death, and is impossible to put down." --Image
"A thought-provoking 2012 love story well-told." --Company
"Beautifully written...brilliant." 5 stars --Heat
"Frankel tells a touching story of how this young couple deals with a new love in a world full of loss and sadness. Her first novel, The Atlas of Love, was a wonderful, heartfelt read, and while this book has a completely different story line, it retains that emotional core. Frankel is an author to watch and definitely to keep in stock."
--Library Journal (starred review)
"The book is funny, touching, and oh-so-very sad. It accurately captures the tenderness of love, and the desperate, gut-wrenching emptiness of grief...It's the perfect book for computer geeks, romantics, coffee-lovers, and rainy beach walkers everywhere."
--Digital Media Roundup