The Machine is a story of unconditional love and the desperation that that engenders. The eponymous Machine was created to selectively edit memories in order to treat dementia and PTSD, and it seems like it worked, until it went terribly wrong. Now Beth wants her husband back. It’s short, by modern standards, and not a whole lot happens over the first three quarters of its length – and, in fact, the reader pretty much knows the plot of that chunk of the novel within a dozen pages. It grips the reader, though, this story of recklessness in the face of despair.