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Goodbye for Now

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Goodbye for Now

A Novel
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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 Elliot works for an internet dating company, but he still...
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 Elliot works for an internet dating company, but he still...
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Description-
  • 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 Elliot 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.

Excerpts-
  • From the book

    Excerpted from the Hardcovoer Edition


    Killer App

    Sam Elling was filling out his online dating profile and trying to decide whether to laugh or cry. On the one hand, he had just described himself as "quick to laugh" and had answered the question, "How macho do you consider yourself?" eight on a scale of ten. But on the other hand, the whole thing was really quite frustrating, and no one, he knew, ever admitted to anything less than an eight on the masculinity scale anyway. Sam was trying to come up with five things he couldn't live without. He knew that many would-be daters cheekily wrote: air, food, water, shelter, plus something else vaguely amusing. (He was thinking Swiss cheese would be a clever addition to that list, or possibly vitamin D, though since he was in Seattle, he seemed, in fact, to be living quite nicely without it.) He could go the techie route--laptop, other laptop, tablet, wifi connection, iPhone--but they'd think he was a computer geek. Never mind that he was; he didn't want them to know that right away. He could go the sentimental route--framed photo from parents' wedding, grandfather's lucky penny, program from his star turn in his middle school production of Grease, acceptance letter to MIT, first mix tape ever made for him by a girl--but he suspected that would belie his reported macho factor. He could go the lactose route: Swiss cheese again (he was clearly craving Swiss cheese for no apparent reason) plus chocolate ice cream, cream cheese, Pagliacci's pizza, and double tall lattes. It wasn't really true though. He could live without those; he just wouldn't like it very much.

    The point was this exercise was five things: annoying, prying, cloying, embarrassing, and totally pointless. He didn't have any hobbies because he worked all the time which was the reason he couldn't find a date. If he didn't work all the time (or weren't a software engineer and so also worked with some women), he would have time for hobbies he could list, but then he wouldn't need to because he wouldn't need online dating in order to meet people. Yes, he was a computer geek, but he was also, he thought, smart and funny and reasonably good-looking. He just didn't have five hobbies or five witty things he couldn't live without or five interesting things on his bedside table (truthful answer would have been: half-full water glass, quarter-full water glass, empty water glass, crumpled used Kleenex, crumpled used Kleenex) or five revealing hopes for the future (never to have to do this again, repeat times five). Nor did he care about anyone else's reported hobbies or five requirements for life, bedside tables, or futures. He had already answered variations of these inane questions with another service, dated their dates, and saw what all of this nonsense came to. It came to nonsense. If you picked the ones who seemed pretty down-to-earth (books, writing implement, reading lamp, clock radio, cell phone), you got boring. If you picked the ones who seemed eccentric (yellow rain hat, Polaroid camera, lime seltzer, photo of Gertrude Stein, plastic model of Chairman Mao), you got really weird and full of themselves. If you picked the one who seemed like a good fit ("Laptop and honestly nothing else because that has all I need"), you got a computer geek so much like your college roommate that you wondered if he'd had an unconvincing sex change operation without telling you. So you had your pick of boring, weird, or Trevor Anderson.

    Five things Sam couldn't live without: sarcasm, mockery, scorn, derision, cynicism.

    That was not the whole picture, of course. If it were, he wouldn't be...

About the Author-
  • LAURIE FRANKEL is the author of one previous novel, The Atlas of Love. She lives in Seattle with her husband and young son.

Reviews-
  • AudioFile Magazine Kirby Heyborne's gentle voice is well suited to the character of Sam, a geeky, unassuming software programmer who invents a computer program that matches people with their soul mate. His own program leads him to Meredith. The emotional roller-coaster ride that follows involves the death of Meredith's beloved grandmother and the concept of an Òe-lifeÓ after death. Heyborne delivers versatile modulations in the character voices, and his deft pacing reflects the array of emotions from moment to moment. Of special note are Heyborne's charming assortment of Indian and English accents and his heartbreaking portrayal of the grieving characters. M.F. © AudioFile 2012, Portland, Maine

  • - The New York Times Book Review
    "Like the film The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Frankel's clever and well-considered second novel extends the reach of technology just beyond our fingertips, where it feels possible. In this slightly magical world, her characters remain simple, which allows her to lavish attention on RePose and its implications."
  • Booklist (Starred) "Frankel presents a fascinating concept as she keenly and sensitively explores themes of love and loss in this tearjerker centered on technology that pushes the boundaries of artificial intelligence. A compelling novel that tugs at the heartstrings; keep tissues handy."
  • Kirkus Reviews
    "The Social Network
    meets One Day in an attractive love-and-loss story that applies new technology to the job of soothing broken hearts...There's no denying Frankel's warmth, wit and ingenuity in this cleverly conceived charmer."
  • Library Journal (Starred) "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."
  • Redbook's Sizzling Summer Reading List
    "If you like your love stories modern, clever, and a little weepy (think One Day), you will adore this."
  • Sacramento Bee "Computer science flirts with sci-fi when a programmer creates software that (almost) lets the living talk with the departed."
  • Garth Stein, New York Times bestselling author of The Art of Racing in the Rain "Clever, funny, moving, intelligent, Goodbye For Now is about love and loss, real live emotions and human relationships in a cyber world taken to its extreme. Will Laurie Frankel's wonderful book capture your heart and imagination? Absolutely. You will laugh; you will cry. And you will probably start video chatting with your loved ones daily, just in case an inspired computer genius jumps on Frankel's idea."
  • Liane Moriarty, bestselling author of What Alice Forgot "Goodbye For Now is a fabulous, original read--very funny, yet so sad and thought-provoking too. I couldn't put it down."
  • Carolyn Parkhurst, New York Times bestselling author of The Dogs of Babel and The Nobodies Album "Somewhere in the middle of Goodbye For Now, I found myself getting angry at Laurie Frankel for moving so seamlessly between hilarious and devastating, and for making me feel so deeply for her characters. I offer this as both recommendation and warning: this book will engross you and affect you, and you should know that you won't be putting it down unchanged."
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Goodbye for Now
A Novel
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