Review: Touch by Courtney Maum

Title: Touch
Author: Courtney Maum
Pages: 320
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Source: Free ARC from G.P. Putnam’s Sons

Rating: B

Note: As stated under the Source (above), I received this book for free from G.P. Putnam’s Sons via Edelweiss. I pride myself on writing fair and honest reviews.

Summary: Sloane Jacobsen is an in demand trend forecaster who has spent the last ten years touting her fervent belief that unmarried (but partnered) and childless is what the future holds. It has certainly worked for her and her long-time partner, Frenchman Roman Bellard. However, when she accepts a 6 month contract with a tech giant that brings her from France – where she has been living the past decade – back to her home turf in the states, she starts feeling the need to reconnect with her family. As that need grows, she starts to question the source of her beliefs about family. With every day that passes, it becomes increasingly clear that her feelings are changing, and those feelings are in direct contrast with her current relationship and the desires of the company she is now employed by. Can she come to terms with these burgeoning feelings and find a way to meet her obligations?

Review: In the first third of this book, I probably would have given it a lower rating, more like a 3 star/C+, but as the book moves along, and more of Sloane was revealed, I found myself much more invested.

Some of the concepts are interesting, but I’m fighting the urge to call them far-fetched. While I completely agree that technology has changed our lives in ways I never would have imagined back in high school (yeah, I was in 8th or 9th grade when CD’s came out, a sophomore in high school the first time I saw the internet, and I was in my 20’s before I had my first cell phone), the whole neo-sensualist idea – this concept that people are going to get tired of actual sex and prefer the “freedom” of virtualized sensuality – well, that was a bit much for me. If that’s really a thing, I’ve never heard of it. And the Zentai suits, don’t even get me started. Perhaps it was meant to be as ludicrous as it seems, a form of satire, and I missed it because I finished The Circle by Dave Eggers last week, which was also centered around the impact of technology on our lives (but much scarier and more realistic), and so I was already thinking about all these scenarios where tech slowly erases our humanity. Given that frame of mind, nothing seems impossible.

But I digress, towards the end, I actually felt things sped up too quickly. I wanted more. More of Sloane’s progress with her family (and other relationships), more details about where things went with her career, more about where her life went in the long run. So, overall, a slow start, but ultimately a good piece of contemporary fiction.

Leave a Reply