Why hadn’t I heard of this book or its author Rainbow Rowell before this? Where was I? Lost in space? Or was it so totally under my radar that I missed it?
This is a book I owe to all you wonderful book bloggers. If not for you guys posting about Eleanor and Park (still waiting for my turn at the library… bah…) I would not have picked up Attachments, and if I had not picked up Attachments then my life would have been a little sadder.
Because (watch out I’m gonna gush here) it is a brilliant read! It’s full of funny bits, it’s got its ‘oh!’ moments, it’s warm and enveloping and sweet. Every single time I had to put it down, say, to feed the baby, I would gaze longingly in its direction, waiting for the moment I could pick it up again. I wish I could have read it in one sitting but ah, that’s life.
And the moment I finished Attachments I wanted to run out tell everyone to read it.
And I haven’t even told you what it’s about yet!!
So there’s Beth and Jennifer, colleagues at a newspaper. They tell each other everything in emails, despite knowing that they’re not supposed to use company email for personal stuff.
Beth is the newspaper’s movie reviewer, and her boyfriend is the guitarist of a local band. Jennifer, who works on the copy desk, is married to Mitch and fears having children, or as Jennifer calls it, “a presence in the womb region”.
Then there’s Lincoln who has been recently hired as some kind of Internet security officer to read the newspaper staff’s email for red flags. Yup. That’s his job. He works nights reading emails. He doesn’t really do much else which is a waste as he’s pretty clever. Oh and they’re approaching Y2K – do you remember that and the panic it gave off?
So Lincoln reads the Beth-Jennifer emails which the software flags but never sends them a warning.
I can understand Lincoln’s surreptitious reading of other people’s emails because they are quite a delight to read:
<<Jennifer to Beth>> Says the woman who isn’t incubating a parasitic organism.
<<Beth to Jennifer>> You make it sound like you have a tapeworm.
<<Jennifer to Beth>> Wait until it starts kicking.
You kind of want to be their friend too.
Lincoln himself is quite a character. He lives with his mother and pretty much is drifting along, unable to figure out what he wants to do with his life. He doesnt have much of a social life besides playing Dungeons and Dragons on Saturdays with a regular group of friends. And he is still hurt from his breakup some years ago. He’s a romantic at heart. And he falls for Beth.
But can you really love someone you’ve never met? And, more importantly, whose emails you’ve been secretly reading?? It’s way too late for him to introduce himself. And anyway what could he say?
The narration alternates between the Jennifer-Beth emails and from Lincoln’s point of view. While what Lincoln does is pretty creepy, Rowell has made the two women so likeable that you just want him to keep reading their emails. And then it turns out that Lincoln himself is a great character too, just that he’s a little lost along the way. And following along from his perspective you can’t help but root for him.
Attachments was just such a fun, funny and sweet read. Please read it!
According to Rainbow Rowell’s website,
“When she’s not writing, Rainbow is reading comic books, planning Disney World trips and arguing with people about things that don’t really matter in the big scheme of things. She has two sons, and if God hears her prayers, they will grow up just as nerdy and true-hearted as the protagonists of her books.”
Eleanor and Park