Touch, by Courtney Maum

This novel is a little more commercial than the fiction I generally read, but I definitely enjoyed its sexiness and emotional intelligence. Sloane, at 39, is the most respected trend forecaster in the Western world. She lives in France with her long-time partner, Roman, childless and hoping to keep it that way. Accepting a six month consulting job with tech giant Mammoth, Sloane and Roman move to New York, less than a hour away from her friendly but rather estranged family. As Dax, the overbearing head of Mammoth, pushes Sloane toward the next hot tech device, she feels more and more strongly that humans will soon move away from technology and seek a reconnection with other people, yearning for the tactile experiences they've been lacking. At the same time, Roman predicts - very publicly - an end to penetrative sex and the rise of online-only interactions.

Sloane is at a crossroads, and while it's engaging to witness her transformation, she can be a bit annoying about it sometimes. What's really interesting is the glimpses we get into trend forecasting, a job Courtney Maum used to have. This isn't just proclaiming that orange is the next pink (though it is a little of that too). It's more about seeing into the future of human desire, tracking what we are now to predict what we will become in the next few years. As Sloane notes, it seems to be a game of opposites. If miniskirts are in this season, it'll be long hems the next. We're obsessed with out technology now, so soon we'll turn away from it, seeking change. Her message - and Maum's, presumably - resonates with some and terrifies others. I imagine her readers will react in much the same fashion.

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