Come with Me
From Helen Schulman, the acclaimed author of the New York Times bestseller This Beautiful Life, comes another "gripping, potent, and blisteringly well-written story of family, dilemma, and consequence" (Elizabeth Gilbert)—a mind-bending novel set in Silicon Valley that challenges our modern constructs of attachment and love, purpose and fate.One of Vogue’s Books You Won’t Want to Miss This Fall 2018"What do you want to know?"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 is a baby genius, a junior at Stanford in his spare time. His play for fortune is an algorithm that may allow people access to their "multiverses"—all the planes on which their alternative life choices can be played out simultaneously—to see how the decisions they’ve made have shaped their lives.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?Amy’s husband, Dan—an unemployed, perhaps unemployable, print journalist—accepts a dare of his own, accompanying a seductive, award-winning photographer named Maryam on a trip to Fukushima, the Japanese city devastated by tsunami and meltdown. Collaborating with Maryam, Dan feels a renewed sense of excitement and possibility he hasn’t felt with his wife in a long time. But when crisis hits at home, the extent of Dan’s betrayal is exposed and, as Amy contemplates alternative lives, the couple must confront whether the distances between them in the here and now are irreconcilable.Taking place over three non-consecutive but vitally important days for Amy, Dan, and their three sons, Come with Me is searing, entertaining, and unexpected—a dark comedy that is ultimately both a deeply romantic love story and a vivid tapestry of modern life.

Come with Me Details

TitleCome with Me
Author
ReleaseNov 27th, 2018
PublisherHarper
ISBN-139780062459152
Rating
GenreFiction, Science Fiction, Contemporary, Did Not Finish

Come with Me Review

  • Chandra Claypool (wherethereadergrows)
    January 1, 1970
    This book was entirely not what I expected it to be. Based on the synopsis I expected more in the way of multiverses and the experiences Amy would have as a guinea pig to Donny in his experiment. This has been a subject that has always fascinated me. How many different lives could you be living - what if you had made different decisions... what would your life be like now? While this book did touch on that, I felt it was not the focus at all during my read, which was disappointing.There are a lo This book was entirely not what I expected it to be. Based on the synopsis I expected more in the way of multiverses and the experiences Amy would have as a guinea pig to Donny in his experiment. This has been a subject that has always fascinated me. How many different lives could you be living - what if you had made different decisions... what would your life be like now? While this book did touch on that, I felt it was not the focus at all during my read, which was disappointing.There are a lot of characters to keep track of in this book and they're all interspersed with each other in one form or another. I kept getting confused as to who belonged to whom and who was whose mother, etc. At times the story line changed from one character to another with no exact change over to let you know we were now looking through someone else's eyes. Unfortunately I never connected to any of the characters. I especially wasn't interested in Dan's story line and wanted to drop kick him into next week. I'm not sure exactly what it was about him that just really got under my skin but he just did. Then that ending for him. UGH.It's interesting that this is classified under sci-fi when it was such a minimal part of the book. I would put this more under domestic drama and it certainly doesn't fly in the dark comedy or deeply romantic love story that the synopsis leads you to believe in the last paragraph. Maybe it was due to all this misleading that led me to not particularly care for this book. Maybe it was the disconnection I felt to every character. Or maybe it just wasn't a good fit for this reader. No matter which way, unfortunately this book just didn't jive with me.Thank you to Harper Books for this copy.
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  • Jessica Woodbury
    January 1, 1970
    At first I was unsure what the balance in this book would be between domestic drama and surreal/science-fiction trappings. It turns out that it is 95% drama and 5% sci-fi, so if you don't read a lot of sci-fi you have nothing to worry about. And like the best sci-fi, that part of the plot is really just a chance to consider our characters in more depth. And while the startup-Silicon-Valley setting also plays an important role in the story, it's not the focus either. This should have all been jus At first I was unsure what the balance in this book would be between domestic drama and surreal/science-fiction trappings. It turns out that it is 95% drama and 5% sci-fi, so if you don't read a lot of sci-fi you have nothing to worry about. And like the best sci-fi, that part of the plot is really just a chance to consider our characters in more depth. And while the startup-Silicon-Valley setting also plays an important role in the story, it's not the focus either. This should have all been just fine with me, but while I was four-stars for this book for much of the first half, it ended up falling down to three.The family at the center of the book is well-drawn, and the fact that the plot didn't really take off for a while didn't bother me at all. I enjoyed spending time with them. I enjoyed Amy's take on the world, I enjoyed being in her head. The last third of the book involves several crises culminating together, which is a very real thing, but also meant that most of what's been happening at the book gets sidelined while one particular thing gets worked out. The point of view also changes often, with many characters taking center stage only once, meaning that many of their stories feel unfinished.Ultimately I just wanted this to be more than it is, more than just the same story of a marriage we've seen many times before. I wanted the different points of view, the idea of the multiverse invention, the whole package to go up a level and take me somewhere. I knew I was in a book by a skilled writer, but it felt more like a hodgepodge than a cohesive novel.I also have to note that this book is another in a trend I've noticed in the past couple of years. It contains a trans character, that character is treated like a person, the character is allowed to be worth loving and worth desiring, but the way the character is written about (especially with respect to the gender they were assigned at birth) is problematic. I am 99% sure the author knows this, that it is the character whose point of view we are in who is ignorant on trans issues. But so much of the world remains ignorant on trans issues, and while this book may mean those audiences see trans people as more valid there are also things they may take away that are callous and insensitive, things you should never say (or think!) with a trans person. I do not know how to solve this dilemma, since of course there will be characters who are ignorant on these issues, but it's a problem nonetheless and I would caution readers who are sensitive on this topic to at least go in with proper expectations.
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  • Suzanne
    January 1, 1970
    The synopsis of this book, described as exploring parallel lives in multiple universes, sounded so exciting but the reality was much less. I had to interrupt my reading for a few days and was shocked to realize that I had not retained any details about the story. The characters and plot just did not engage me. The sci fi aspect could just as easily be described as mildly hallucinatory experiences with pot in a sensory deprivation chamber. But, why bother? The tale is about an unhappy marriage an The synopsis of this book, described as exploring parallel lives in multiple universes, sounded so exciting but the reality was much less. I had to interrupt my reading for a few days and was shocked to realize that I had not retained any details about the story. The characters and plot just did not engage me. The sci fi aspect could just as easily be described as mildly hallucinatory experiences with pot in a sensory deprivation chamber. But, why bother? The tale is about an unhappy marriage and the wistfulness of a middle-age wife/ mother/ woman and her choices in life. But even at that level, the tale is lacking. I received my copy from the publisher through edelweiss.
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  • Vicky Gottlieb
    January 1, 1970
    Come With Me, Helen Schulman’s sixth novel, is a feat of both craft and storytelling. On the surface it is about a suburban family: the parents, Amy and Dan, are dealing with middle-age ennui, midlife unemployment, and marital resentments, their adolescent son Jack is navigating long distance love and hometown friendships, and Theo and Miles are much younger, behaviorally-challenged twins. Each of these main players has their own narrative along with a quirky, interesting supporting cast. Altoge Come With Me, Helen Schulman’s sixth novel, is a feat of both craft and storytelling. On the surface it is about a suburban family: the parents, Amy and Dan, are dealing with middle-age ennui, midlife unemployment, and marital resentments, their adolescent son Jack is navigating long distance love and hometown friendships, and Theo and Miles are much younger, behaviorally-challenged twins. Each of these main players has their own narrative along with a quirky, interesting supporting cast. Altogether they comprise six to eight stories (depending on your perspective), with just as many themes—reality, regret and reconciliation, consciousness and conscience, free will versus destiny, to name a few—that seamlessly intertwine into one that should engross and enchant every type of reader—from those who love a page-turner to literature lovers to philosophical thinkers. Set in Silicon Valley, Donny, a Mark Zuckerberg wannabe, has a start-up that’s creating goggles to access multiverses, essentially parallel universes where our life plays out differently. He uses Amy to test the goggles, and through them she virtually experiences alternative realities wrought by alternative choices. Dan, on the other hand, upends his here and now to forge a new life that he experiences in real time. Schulman juxtaposes these scenarios to delve into whether the answers to "what if" impact the present and how they change us. If this sounds sci-fi-y, it isn’t, though it is by turns cool and terrifying, adjectives which also apply to the day-to-day circumstances these exquisitely flawed yet wholly sympathetic characters are plunked into, evoking in each of them our least and most flattering qualities, motives, and impulses. Come With Me resonates as an exploration of personal responsibility and fidelity, as an examination of the ethical quandaries imposed by technology’s rapidly changing frontiers, and as a pleasurable, easy to read escape into someone else’s dysfunctional family. One thing is certain: in this and every multiverse Schulman has gifted us with an(other) enduring, relevant work of fiction!
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  • Sarah Beth
    January 1, 1970
    I received an uncorrected proof copy of this novel from HarperCollins.Amy is a frustrated mother of three who works part-time for her college roommate's college-aged son in Palo Alto, California. Her boss Donny is exploring ways to allow people to access paths their lives might have taken had they made different choices through a type of virtual reality technology and is using Amy as his test subject. Meanwhile, Amy's husband Dan is an unemployed journalist and their marriage has taken significa I received an uncorrected proof copy of this novel from HarperCollins.Amy is a frustrated mother of three who works part-time for her college roommate's college-aged son in Palo Alto, California. Her boss Donny is exploring ways to allow people to access paths their lives might have taken had they made different choices through a type of virtual reality technology and is using Amy as his test subject. Meanwhile, Amy's husband Dan is an unemployed journalist and their marriage has taken significant hits due to his layoff and the stress of their three sons. Without telling his wife, Dan travels to Japan to explore his interest in a photographer and to see if he can find passion in a writing assignment again. There was a lot going on in this novel including marital drama, professional angst, teenage drama and tragedy, the tech industry, journalism, sci-fi exploration of alternate life routes, learning differences, parenting challenges, global crises, and more. Based on the novel's description, I anticipated that Donny's exploration of 'multiverses' would figure more heavily into the novel, but really that was one thread of the novel, with the majority being a family drama focused on Amy, Dan, and their children's struggles. Donny's technology does help Amy explore what might have been if she hadn't married Dan but the few scenes feel so background to the main storyline as to make them feel like random non-sequiturs. A lot of the characters in this novel aren't particularly likeable. In particular, I found Donny, Maryam, and Dan distasteful in different ways. For that matter, Amy herself wasn't particularly likeable. She seems resentful of her children and her job, spends most of her time running to escape her family, and is only really praised by other characters for being attractive. While the writing was well done, I did feel like the multiple threads of this novel didn't fully come together into a cohesive and meaningful conclusion but were left dangling just as they were haphazardly introduced. An interesting premise with relevant topics that fell short of my expectations.
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  • Andrew
    January 1, 1970
    I did not overly enjoy Come With me, there are no chapters per se, just indents for changes of character perspective. I am not sure if that is just because I read an advanced copy or that was just the style, but I found it led to some of the confusion I had whilst reading. Also, at times it was difficult to always at first distinguish a change in characters because of the first person view and there being some who were only featured briefly.The plot was another piece that I found slippery and no I did not overly enjoy Come With me, there are no chapters per se, just indents for changes of character perspective. I am not sure if that is just because I read an advanced copy or that was just the style, but I found it led to some of the confusion I had whilst reading. Also, at times it was difficult to always at first distinguish a change in characters because of the first person view and there being some who were only featured briefly.The plot was another piece that I found slippery and not overly solid. There was too much going on and it was more like reading multiple pieces of different stories that did not always tie together very well. There were parts of the story that did not necessarily need to be included to see that Amy's family was having troubles. The multiverse part of the book may have been better if the story had been different stories of Amy rather than her life and family falling apart. Donny was my favorite character because he was written as a child in a grown ups body who also happened to run a technology business. I found Amy to definitely be a mother who would do anything to protect her family. Dan was dysfunctional and an oddball. Then, their sons, Jack, Miles and Theo were given well defined attributes and personalities.I would recommend this book to someone who enjoys reading about modern day life and the common day struggles that families may face in the US.
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  • Kimberley
    January 1, 1970
    This book tested my patience. On the one hand, I didn't enter into it with any expectations. Unlike some, I wasn't really sure how much the multiverse aspect would play into the story so I wasn't disappointed when it took a backseat to the marital discord of Amy and Dan. However, there was also a lot here that felt like too much information for the sake of filling pages.I didn't need a play-by-play of all the ways in which a marriage can fall to the wayside. Nor was I interested in the far too c This book tested my patience. On the one hand, I didn't enter into it with any expectations. Unlike some, I wasn't really sure how much the multiverse aspect would play into the story so I wasn't disappointed when it took a backseat to the marital discord of Amy and Dan. However, there was also a lot here that felt like too much information for the sake of filling pages.I didn't need a play-by-play of all the ways in which a marriage can fall to the wayside. Nor was I interested in the far too codependent relationship of two horny teenagers with far too much time on their hands...literally. There were plenty of interesting characters within the book but they were often relegated to the periphery in favor of a random encounter or some dinnertime shenanigan. While both Kevin (Jack's best friend and Amy's "second son") and Marilyn (the trans woman) eventually play a major role in the arc of the story, neither was fleshed out enough for you to feel connected to them as characters. If anything, they felt like collateral in a story that feels more about a man suffering through a midlife crises as his marriage falls apart.I wanted to love this but it often felt like I was reading a rough draft of a story where the author was still letting it "come"to her: it often seemed to veer off the path completely before returning back to whatever its point was in the first place.
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  • kglibrarian
    January 1, 1970
    Set in Silicon Valley and following the lives of Amy Reed, her husband, Dan Messinger, and their three boys, Come With Me is an interesting juxtaposition of many different aspects of existence. Amy, who works for a startup tech company, is asked to be the first to test a new technology that allows people to view the different paths their lives may have taken. The scenes where she experiences this fascinating virtual reality are compelling, but happen too infrequently within the novel to build mu Set in Silicon Valley and following the lives of Amy Reed, her husband, Dan Messinger, and their three boys, Come With Me is an interesting juxtaposition of many different aspects of existence. Amy, who works for a startup tech company, is asked to be the first to test a new technology that allows people to view the different paths their lives may have taken. The scenes where she experiences this fascinating virtual reality are compelling, but happen too infrequently within the novel to build much momentum. Instead, Schulman shifts from mundane family interactions and time spent at the office, to other short-lived glimpses of the characters' lives, such as an outdoor run or a supposed business trip. While there are many meaningful ideas explored, especially toward the end of the book when Dan visits the remains of an environmental disaster and tragedy strikes while he is gone, each one is cut short by the small amount of space devoted to it. I was interested in the characters and wished the author went more deeply into their development. Schulman writes with subtle humor and perfectly captures the vibe of Silicon Valley.
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  • Cari
    January 1, 1970
    I really enjoyed this one - finishing in the nick of time for pub date tomorrow! Schulman is an amazing writer, and I keep thinking about the novel's themes of duality and the road not taken - all the characters danced in and out of those spaces. The unconventional plot, with a lot of point-of-view shifting, may not appeal to every reader. But this would make a great book discussion - so many layers to peel away.
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  • Ann
    January 1, 1970
    I think the fact that I know practically nothing about virtual reality shaped my opinion of this book. Amy seemed like an okay lady who worked hard to keep her family happy and safe. Her husband Dan was sort of an afterthought throughout the book. Amy works for a startup tech company is basically a test subject for their software that shows you what your life could have been with different decisions. Not a fan. I received a copy of this ARC in exchange for a fair and honest review.
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  • Elizabeth Dultz
    January 1, 1970
    Disclaimer: won in a Goodreads giveaway.Beautiful. Each plot point was unpredictable yet poignant and fitting. The characters were beautifully developed, despite the difference in ‘screen time.’ Completely unexpectedly, I found myself crying at the end—more connected to the characters than I’d realized, and more invested in their choices.
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  • Andrienne
    January 1, 1970
    I was interested in the multiverse aspect for the “guinea pig” Amy, alas it takes a back seat to more pressing matters in this domestic drama. There are plenty of unlikeable characters and a few loose ends. I was quite interested in how the title came to be and it was satisfactory. Thanks to the publisher for this advance reading copy.
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  • Susan
    January 1, 1970
    Amy Ryan is a housewife who fears her husband is having an affair and who struggles in dealing with her children's misbehavior. Her only escape is going out running. During her runs she can imagine a different life for herself, a life where she is free from what she sees as the limitations on her life. Then she gets a job in Silicon Valley with the son of a friend. He has developed an algorithm that allows users to access their multiverses. When he finally develops an actual Virtual Reality serv Amy Ryan is a housewife who fears her husband is having an affair and who struggles in dealing with her children's misbehavior. Her only escape is going out running. During her runs she can imagine a different life for herself, a life where she is free from what she sees as the limitations on her life. Then she gets a job in Silicon Valley with the son of a friend. He has developed an algorithm that allows users to access their multiverses. When he finally develops an actual Virtual Reality service and wants to test it out Amy agrees to become a test subject. Now she finally has the chance to go through a catalogue of alternate realities that have already been part of her dreams. This desire for a life unlived is in fact shared by her husband who regrets not becoming a better journalist, one who covers important and dangerous stories. This probably leads him to going to Fukushima, Japan after the devastation caused by the tsunami and the resulting meltdown of its nuclear reactor. He does have a lover and he brings her with him. Again showing how he yearns for another life.In the end the characters quests along with a tragedy at the local school comes to a head and shows how to face what are lives are and what are lives could have been. Review not influenced by fact that received as a Goodreads giveaway.j
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  • Amileigh Gordon
    January 1, 1970
    #GoodreadsGiveaway
  • Lovely Loveday
    January 1, 1970
    Come with Me is a fast-paced science fiction novel that may not be for everyone. Schulman has created a world that is unlike any other. A world where nothing seems as it appears and family drama is unavoidable. The characters are well-developed and shine on their own with fascinating backstories that help to add intrigue to the storyline. An interesting story that is full of surprises and Schulman pulls it all together in an elegant ending that you will shock you! Come with Me is a novel that is Come with Me is a fast-paced science fiction novel that may not be for everyone. Schulman has created a world that is unlike any other. A world where nothing seems as it appears and family drama is unavoidable. The characters are well-developed and shine on their own with fascinating backstories that help to add intrigue to the storyline. An interesting story that is full of surprises and Schulman pulls it all together in an elegant ending that you will shock you! Come with Me is a novel that is sure to stay with you long after you read the last page.
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