THE WORKING THEORY OF LOVE by Scott Hutchins
Neill is in his mid-thirties, lives alone in San Francisco, and is growing weary of bachelorhood. On the brightside (relatively speaking) his deceased father left behind an empire of meticulously detailed journals chronicling every moment of every day, and the acquisition of these journals by a widely respected pioneer of Artificial Intelligence gives Neill a chance to change careers and help turn his father's vast history into the first convincingly sentient computer.
Meanwhile, he thrashes around in a stalled romantic life. Eventually he stumbles forward into an uncertain romantic future with a twenty-year old high school student, but finds himself vexed by his unresolved feelings for his ex-wife.
In a nutshell, Neill’s a familiar-to-most-of-us mess. It's only as he dives into his father's journals and discovers a missing year that the relationship of his parents -- which up until then he'd viewed as a failed project -- comes into focus and gives him a new understanding of the mother he still has and the father he'd never understood. Only then can he begin to sift through the inscrutable tea leaves of his past and find the kind of love that had, for so long, been out of reach.
Fresh, highly original, and wise, Scott's debut novel tells the tale of a man reeling from his past and paralyzed by the prospect of a future. Moving and resonant, A WORKING THEORY OF LOVE is an odyssey into love, grief, reconciliation, and the tentative, cautious steps we take towards happiness when we allow ourselves to be vulnerable
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