Attachments by Rainbow Rowell
Published by Dutton Adult, an imprint of Penguin
Review copy provided by the publicist
Jennifer and Beth, best friends and co-workers, know that their company has a policy of no personal conversations using their employer-sponsored email accounts, and they also know that their email is being monitored to prevent them from using email for that purpose. However, they still have long conversations with one another over email about anything and everything going on in their personal lives. Lincoln is the internet security officer at their company, which basically means he’s responsible for screening all company emails to make sure people aren’t using them for non-work related purposes. In essence, he’s reading the vast majority of Jennifer and Beth’s conversations. At first he thinks he needs to report these women, and begins the process of doing just that. But soon he’s finding himself entertained by their conversations, and keeps reading them because they are making his job just a bit more fun and exciting. And furthermore, he’s developed quite a bit of a crush on Beth. By the time Lincoln realizes his feelings for Beth, it’s too late to introduce himself, as he can’t figure out a proper way to do so, but he’s dying to meet her in person. He decides he absolutely must follow his heart… no matter how awkward or difficult that might be.
There are so many things to smile about in Attachments. The concept certainly is clever and Rowell definitely executes it well. Her characters are fun, realistic, and real. The conversations between them feel very authentic and are reminiscent of similar conversations I’ve had with friends and co-workers over the years. And finally, the book is a quick, light read but with more depth than I had expected.
I suppose my favorite thing about Attachments would have to be the characters. It’s funny, because the reader gets to know Jennifer and Beth only through their email conversations, but I really felt that I got a sense of who they both are as individuals. I related to both of these women for different reasons, and as I stated, their conversations felt very authentic to me. The things they discussed over email were typical things that women discuss – relationship issues, family issues, etc. – and I could relate to having these same conversations with my own girlfriends. Lincoln, too, was a fully realized character and came to be the one I most rooted for. He was shy, insecure, but with a really good heart and deep down just wanted the opportunity to love someone and be loved back. I can relate to that (who can’t?) and I wanted so badly for him to find the love he was yearning for.
While I wouldn’t consider Attachments to be serious, literary fiction by any means, Rowell is a good, solid writer and her talent shows. Yes, the book is lighter in tone than some other books I’ve read, but it flies by and I found myself surprised with how much I was entertained by and enjoyed the novel. If you are a person who enjoys the more fun, lighter side of fiction from time to time, I would definitely recommend Attachments.