A programmer for a Seattle-based Internet dating company, Sam Elling creates the perfect algorithm for making matches, and finds his ideal mate in Meredith Maxwell, who works in the company’s marketing department. Sam and Meredith immediately hit it off, but their romance is rushed when Meredith’s grandmother Livvie dies and, with Meredith mourning, the two decide to move into Livvie’s old apartment.
Trying to ease Meredith’s grief, Sam creates a computer program that allows her to email and video chat with a virtual Livvie. It sparks an idea for a website that allows those left behind to virtually communicate with their lost loved ones, and the pair quickly find themselves immersed in controversy and an eclectic community of mourners. But when tragedy strikes, Sam finally begins to understand the benefits and limitations of technology when it comes to remembering those he has loved and lost. (DOUBLEDAY, Aug., 288 pp., $25.95)