“The Glitch” (Doubleday), by Elisabeth Cohen
Shelley Stone is a hard-working CEO of a Silicon Valley tech company that sells a small device called a Conch, which helps improve everyday life. The Conch offers helpful advice and prompts such as “take an umbrella” or “turn left on Main Street” when worn. Unfortunately, the tiny piece of technology has recently been known to encourage owners to “jump off the bridge.”
Shelley was struck by lightning as a teenager, so nothing seems implausible to her at this point in her life. She approaches every challenge with clear and precise thinking, no matter how absurd the problem may appear. She’s a master at efficiency and will stop at nothing to make sure the Conch glitch is handled carefully — even if it means remaining at work until the early hours of the morning.
Her company is her life. Although blogs and newspaper articles make her seem like a supermom, the reality is that a team of people help Shelley care for her family. She doesn’t see a problem with this lifestyle until her husband volunteers to exit his own rat race so he can see the kids more often. Shelley feels a twinge of guilt. Should she want to stay home more often instead of flying around the world delivering TED talks?
On top of her husband’s highly unusual revelation, Shelley begins to experience her own Conch abnormalities. When she meets another woman overseas who looks like a much younger version of herself, her Conch instructs her to “meet Shelley Stone.” The young girl has the same eyes, the same scars and knows intimate details of her life. Is this woman a lookalike? Is she Shelley from the future? Or has Shelley reached a critical point in her non-stop schedule that has finally resulted in a nervous breakdown?
“The Glitch” takes a hard look at the definition of work-life balance. Through hilarious antics and sensational story lines, Elisabeth Cohen encourages readers to slow down, take a breath and consider the perspective of a younger you. Would that person think you are living your best life?