Schulman (This Beautiful Life) thrillingly probes the ways technology and its sometimes alarming possibilities shape a Palo Alto, Calif., family. In a town teeming with genius Stanford coders and “Silicon Valley royalty,” Amy Reed is at loose ends: she works at a tech startup founded by her college roommate’s son Donny; contends with her children’s misbehavior at school; and suspects that her unemployed husband, Dan, is having an affair. Running is the only way she relieves stress, during which she imagines different, less encumbered lives for herself. But after Donny launches Furrier.com— a VR service that allows users to shuffle through a catalogue of alternate realities (“What would have happened if I’d taken that job? Who would I have met?”)—Amy becomes a test subject, drawing the stuff of her daydreams frighteningly close to the surface. Meanwhile, Dan flies to Japan with his lover to document the nuclear wasteland of Fukushima, regretting having forgone a more daring journalistic career. As the Furrier technology advances—and a tragedy at the local high school shakes the family to its core—the family must assess what their lives are and what, refracted through the promise of technology and alternate paths, they might have been. Adroit and perceptive, Schulman weaves a deeply felt meditation on the anxiety and complexity of modern relationships. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 09/03/2018 Release date: 11/01/2018 Genre: Fiction
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