In the not-too-distant future, a simple outpatient procedure to increase empathy between romantic partners has become all the rage. And Briddey Flannigan is delighted when her boyfriend, Trent, suggests undergoing the operation prior to a marriage proposal – to enjoy better emotional connection and a perfect relationship with complete communication and understanding. But things don’t quite work out as planned, and Briddey finds herself connected to someone else entirely – in a way far beyond what she signed up for.
It is almost more than she can handle – especially when the stress of managing her all-too-eager-to-communicate-at-all-times family is already burdening her brain. But that’s only the beginning. As things go from bad to worse, she begins to see the dark side of too much information, and to realize that love – and communication – are far more complicated than she ever imagined.
“Our whole evolutionary history has been about trying to stop information from getting communicated—camouflage, protective coloration, that ink that squids squirt, encrypted passwords, corporate secrets, lying. Especially lying. If people really wanted to communicate, they’d tell the truth, but they don’t.”CrossTalk, Connie Willis
I had this book on my bookshelf for so long as it’s been a gift from a dear friend, and I am finally able to finish it and really enjoy it. I actually did not expect to have fun as much as I did, and listening alongside the audiobook was such a great help too, and added a great deal more of fun into the quirky story.
CrossTalk is a contemporary romance/science fiction novel that is set in the current world we are living in that is full of technology and the need for constant communication through all sorts of gadgets. In this world, there is a twist wherein partners are able to become more connected to each other through a surgical procedure. Briddey Flannigan finds herself undergoing this procedure with her boyfriend secretly before their engagement, and suddenly finds herself in a deeper trouble than what she has expected.
I really enjoyed that this world reflected so much the real one, especially with the amount of technology and information at everyone’s disposal, and that it’s so much easier to stay connected than to isolate oneself. So it was fairly easy to get inside the world and become immersed in it. While the tech stuff wasn’t something I was familiar with, I did had a great time reading through the genetics and biology parts in this novel, and I loved every bit of it and how it explained so much . Science was definitely a main backdrop in this book, but the hints of mysticism and occult balanced it out so it wouldn’t be too overwhelming.
The story itself was slow, but still really fun. I would have preferred if some bits were removed from the story since I felt like it just prolonged the tale further than what was necessary, however, it still gave the readers a very clear-cut story, and there were also twists that I did not expect. The comedy factor woven into this book also made the book even more enjoyable.
I love the characters so much, especially Briddey, C.B, and Maeve. It was just really a long book of all of them trying to make sense of what was happening to them while forming relationships without the use of smartphones and other gadgets. It also helped that the audiobook narrator did a splendid job in giving the characters life, and made them even funnier than usual. Everyone was just so quirky, smart, and lovable, and I adored every single thing about them.
I hope more people read this book. I really recommend it for anyone who wants to start into the world of science fiction but keeping to the roots of contemporary and romance novels.
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About The Author
Constance Elaine Trimmer Willis is an American science fiction writer. She is one of the most honored science fiction writers of the 1980s and 1990s.
She has won, among other awards, ten Hugo Awards and six Nebula Awards. Willis most recently won a Hugo Award for All Seated on the Ground (August 2008). She was the 2011 recipient of the Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master Award from the Science Fiction Writers of America (SFWA).
She lives in Greeley, Colorado with her husband Courtney Willis, a professor of physics at the University of Northern Colorado. She also has one daughter, Cordelia.
Willis is known for her accessible prose and likable characters. She has written several pieces involving time travel by history students and faculty of the future University of Oxford. These pieces include her Hugo Award-winning novels Doomsday Book and To Say Nothing of the Dog and the short story “Fire Watch,” found in the short story collection of the same name.
Willis tends to the comedy of manners style of writing. Her protagonists are typically beset by single-minded people pursuing illogical agendas, such as attempting to organize a bell-ringing session in the middle of a deadly epidemic (Doomsday Book), or frustrating efforts to analyze near-death experiences by putting words in the mouths of interviewees (Passage)
4 thoughts on “Review: CrossTalk by Connie Willis”
Ooh what an interesting premise, that definitely sounds unique! I’m really intrigued by this, even if the pacing was off in a few places. Great review – thanks for the recommendation!
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Thank you so much for reading! I do hope you get to also enjoy it if you do get the chance!
Love the premise! And i agree it sounds like a great transition to sci fi genre.
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This is one of tita Jen’s gifted books! Kaya I’m so happy to finally read and enjoyed this!
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