Attachments by Rainbow Rowell
Rating: 3.5 stars
It’s 1999 and the internet is still a novelty. At a newspaper office, two colleagues, Beth and Jennifer, e-mail back and forth, discussing their lives in hilarious details, from love troubles to family dramas. And Lincoln, a shy IT guy responsible for monitoring e-mails, spends his hours reading every exchange.
At first their e-mails offer a welcome diversion, but the more he reads, the more he finds himself falling for one of them. By the time Lincoln realises just how head-over-heels he is, it’s too late to introduce himself.
After a series of close encounters, Lincoln eventually decides he must follow his heart… and find out if there is such a thing as love before first sight.
Ah, another Rainbow Rowell book! 🙂 Unlike her past two books that I read (Eleanor and Park & Fangirl), this book deals with more mature characters, particularly working adults. While this book, unlike the other two, does not display gists of adolescence or transition, it effectively captures the reality of working life, such as office banter, overtime work hours, or unrealistic work expectations. Through the characters of Jennifer, Beth, and Lincoln, Rowell manages to similarly portray the struggles and pressures of adult life, such as marriage, family, love, and ambition. Lincoln’s story also reveals the struggles of really growing up, such as independence, integrity and decision-making.
I loved how the chapters of the novel alternates between Beth and Jennifer’s email dialogues, and Lincoln’s narrative. Beth and Jennifer’s choice of words –adamantly rebelling against the company’s email regulations– were cheeky and spunky. By narrating from Lincoln’s self-conscious and introverted perspective, the novel also keeps us in suspense of the identity of Beth’s crush, even though we have been reading about him from the start. While the conversations were witty and humorous, I skipped through some of the email conversations and enjoyed Lincoln’s narration more, as the plot developed more succinctly and dynamically in those parts. I felt that the email conversations were building heavily on side stories and though entertaining, hilarious, and heartbreaking at times, were slightly derailing from the main plot.
Attachments is a novel for any working adult looking for a funny, relatable and light read. Rainbow Rowell’s ability to stay genuinely true to her characters never ceases to amaze time and time again, and I enjoyed this book as much as others written by her.
– “I’d know you in the dark,” he said. “From a thousand miles away. There’s nothing you could become that I haven’t already fallen in love with.”
– “I thought about him the way you think about dinner when you haven’t eaten for a day and a half. Like you’d sell your soul for it.”
– “High school guys only appear hot to high school girls. its something to do with the fluorescent lighting in the classrooms, I think. They’re actually really skinny and spotty, and they have giant feet”