In Goodbye for Now, Seattle author Laurie Frankel (The Atlas of Love) tests the limits of social media with the story of Sam Elling, a software engineer at an online dating site. Single himself and fed up with being regularly reminded of the fact, Sam develops an algorithm that analyzes clients’ emails, financial records and more to see who they really are—not who they want to be. The formula works, and Sam meets his perfect match in Meredith—but is soon fired because the company no longer receives repeat business.

When Meredith’s grandmother suddenly dies, Sam adapts his program to ease her grief, allowing it to create responses to emails and video chats for the dead to hold with the living. It proves such a successful way to help Meredith that they, along with Meredith’s flamboyant cousin Dash, open a business: RePose. The service is meant to be a stop on the way to acceptance, not a way to cheat loss. But when they’re faced with negative publicity accusing them of exploiting the bereaved, the couple is forced to reckon with their mortality and the ramifications of simulating life after death.

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.

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