by Connie Willis
Random House Publishing Group - Ballantine
Pub Date 04 Oct 2016
One of my top three books, a book I could read over and over again, that I would take with me to a desert island or prison, is The Doomsday Book by Connie Willis. It was my first introduction to the work of Ms. Willis. I loved it so much I read several of her other books, including Passage and Lincoln's Dreams. When I had the opportunity to read an Advanced Readers Copy of Ms Willis's new book Crosstalk through Netgalley, I was thrilled. I hoped I was in for another thrilling read and I was not disappointed.
Crosstalk takes place near our time, possibly a little ahead. There is not a specific date mentioned but the technology referenced includes Apple and smartphones and DVRs. The technology at the center of the book, the EED, is an outpatient procedure that is preformed on a couple.The purpose of the EED is to allow the couple to share each other's emotions, to feel what their partner feels. One famous surgeon is performing it on royalty, billionaires and celebrities to great accolades. All the patients report feeling closer and more emotionally bound to their partner by sharing without words or actions their emotions.
Briddey is an executive with a communication company that produces smart phones. Her boyfriend Trent is the rising star of the company with his eye on a corner office and huge salary. He convinces Briddey to have an EED with him and upon successful completion, they will be publicly announce their engagement. Trent feels that EED will enhance their relationship and give them both the assurance of their feelings for each other before making a commitment.
Briddey and Trent both have the procedure. There is only one problem initially. When Briddey emerges from anesthesia, she does not feel Trent's emotions. She hears a voice. It is not Trent's voice. And from there the book takes off on a break neck series of twists and turns until the final conclusion.
I enjoyed this book. The characters were fun to get to know. I found that I could relate to them. With the exception of one character, I really liked them. The story kept me engaged and reading (and staying up later than I should). The only problem I encounter was some of the discussions towards the end of the book about the science of what was occurring. I had a hard time following that part but I usually require a translator is science is being spoken so that is a fault on my part not the author. I highly recommend Crosstalk, another great book by Connie Willis.