A satirical novel in the spirit of Maria Semple and Jess Walter about a New York City trend forecaster who finds herself wanting to overturn her own predictions, move away from technology, and reclaim her heart.
...a work of zealous social critique laced with sexy romantic comedy and a just-in-the-nick-of-time family reconciliation ... With a weirdly nurturing driverless car, a family emergency, a sexy art director, and wrenching and hilarious confrontations and meltdowns, Maum’s incisive, charming, and funny novel ebulliently champions the healing powers of touch, the living world, and love in all its crazy risks, surprises, and sustaining radiance.
Maum’s writing is easy, eager and colloquial, as oxygenated as ad copy. People 'quip' or 'croon' rather than speak, metaphors mix promiscuously, points are made twice, italics tilt madly from every page. Less finished but more lively than Maum’s last novel, I Am Having So Much Fun Here Without You, Touch sometimes reads like an email from a hallucinating brand strategist trapped on a silent retreat ... Maum shines when she writes about creativity, the slow burn and then sudden rush of ideas that lead Sloane to change her life. Having new ideas feels like love. We use the same liquid, luminous metaphors for both: lightning, fire, magma, light bulbs. But while love stories are almost mandatory parts of novels (including this one), good writing about creativity is rare. Maum captures that fragile, gratifying, urgent process.
In Courtney Maum’s novel, Touch, Sloane Jacobsen returns to the United States from Paris, where she’s been hiding from grief about her father’s death for years ... Sloane’s work allows her to peek inside the minds of the people who create and design tech, and she finds that while technology has made their lives easier, it has made even the tech creators at Mammoth long for old-fashioned physical contact — hand-holding, sex, the embrace of a friend ... Maum excels at depicting the subtleties of human interaction in all its various forms, particularly the different types of tension in the workplace ... One of the best qualities of Touch is how accessible Maum renders esoteric ideas ... Maum’s Touch is the right novel at the right time, but this is not to discount the author’s skill in rendering well-paced scenes attenuated to the human condition.