Amy Reed works part-time as a PR person for a tech start-up, run by her college roommate’s nineteen-year-old son, in Palo Alto, California. Donny wants Amy to be his guinea pig. And even as she questions Donny’s theories and motives, Amy finds herself unable to resist the lure of the road(s) not taken. Who would she be if she had made different choices, loved different people? Where would she be now?
Helen Schulman’s Come With Me delves into the interplay of technology and relationships with edgy, upsetting and tragic results. And yet, the story is also warm, wise and witty ... While Maryam is an interesting character, her portions tend to drag and dominate. More time could be spent on Jack and Lily, for example, whose relationship defines the book in an important way, but who become something of a sad joke, especially once Lily 'attends' a funeral via Skype ... Come With Me respects the human right to feel more than one thing at one time: Sadness and amusement, love and hate, edginess and safety. It’s the kind of all-encompassing acceptance that makes the book feel both contemporary and classic.
Now, in her new and... narratively ambitious novel called Come With Me, Schulman splices together an old-school family drama with high-tech fantasy: It's a rich, closely observed story about regrets and stupid risk-taking set mostly among the coders, crunchers and ordinary citizens of Palo Alto ... Come With Me is ingeniously structured around three non-consecutive days in the lives — both virtual and real — of Amy and her family. There are a lot of storylines here, as well as a lot of humor and heart. Amy is the fully realized moral center of the novel, intrigued by innovation, but also graced with a witty feminist skepticism about the male-dominated tech industry ... [The novel] poignantly captures the wonder, as well as the cluelessness, of how we live now.
Astute...affecting ... Schulman’s intriguing premise gives depth to this domestic drama. Adding to that, every sentence sparkles, even minor characters have full and surprising lives, and she pulls it all together in an elegant ending.