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.
Ms. Maum’s appealing debut, I Am Having So Much Fun Here Without You, followed a husband’s efforts to win back the love of his wife after being caught in an affair. Like that book, Touch uses antic humor to mask its rather stern traditional message about the importance of nuclear families and the magic of baby-making. The author’s conservative streak occasionally dampens her storytelling. The book’s settings, drably confined to conference rooms and the company car, could have used shaking up, and its ending is too easy to forecast. But it’s impressive that Ms. Maum has managed to make a return to old-fashioned family values—and even commonplace acts of physical intimacy—seem daring and subversive.