cover image Hey, Zoey

Hey, Zoey

Sarah Crossan. Little, Brown, $29 (304p) ISBN 978-0-316-42860-6

In Crossan’s offbeat latest (after Where the Heart Should Be), a middle-aged woman finds her husband’s AI sex doll in their garage. Unsure what to think, Dolores puts the doll back in its nylon bag and waits to confront her husband, David. Through fragmentary flashbacks to Dolores’s childhood, the reader gathers something painful happened when she was young. When Dolores eventually reveals to David that she knows about the doll, he informs her that its name is Zoey and promptly moves out (“I think I’d rather split up than have to talk about it,” he tells Dolores, leaving Zoey behind). Afterward, Dolores brings Zoey inside the house and replaces the sexy outfits David dressed her up in with more tasteful attire. Over the course of their conversations (once Zoey is charged, she listens to and remembers what Dolores tells her), Dolores is shocked at Zoey’s high level of intelligence and knowledge, and struck by how much users of the technology miss out on by treating them only as sex dolls. There are lighthearted moments, including movie nights with Zoey, and heavy ones, as Dolores’s connection to the doll eventually leads her to fill in the gaps in her childhood memories. Readers will enjoy this astute page-turner. (June)