Attachments is the first novel by Rainbow Rowell.
Finished on: 14.7.2015
It’s 1999 and Y2K is just on the horizon. Lincoln doesn’t really know what to do with himself now that he finished university. But it seems that getting out into the real world is in order. He gets a job as the new IT security guy at a newspaper, which mostly means reading e-mails that have been flagged by the automatic system as probably not work-related and sending out warnings when the system turns out to be right. So that’s how he ends up reading the very much not work-related e-mails from Beth and Jennifer. But that he doesn’t send out any warnings to them is up to him. And that he doesn’t stop reading even when he should. And that he finds himself falling for the writers, one in particular.
Having a love story start with an intense violation of the privacy is a risky move, to put it mildly. But Rowell completely pulls it off with Attachments. Not only by giving us beautiful characters, but also by confronting those privacy issues head-on. I loved it.
Attachments is a fast read. Not only because of Rowell’s fluid writing, but also because I just couldn’t put the book away. I just had to know how things would continue and how it would all end. On the one hand, that came from the fact that as I was reading, I completely fell in love with all of the protagonists. Together with Lincoln, I first fell in love with Beth and Jennifer’s emails. Then I fell in love with both Jennifer and Beth (contrary to Lincoln, who manages to settle for one). And Lincoln, too, of course. Despite certain clinginess issues (a personal no-go), he now has a space on my fictional husbands list. That’s for certain. [Mitch might sneak onto that list as well, btw.]
But all those brilliant, dazzling characters couldn’t have saved the story if Rowell hadn’t managed to uncringe the set-up. [SPOILERS] But Lincoln tells Beth the truth. He leaves. And then he stays away, proving that he can respect boundaries after all. And it’s Beth who initiates their contact. [/SPOILERS] And they’re both aware that the way they met is incredibly weird. But sometimes emotions are like that, they don’t really care about propriety. And then all you can do is handle them correctly. And that’s definitely what they did.
When the book ended, I was on the one hand happy, if not to say elated at the happy end. But I really didn’t want it to be over. And a week later I had bought all of Rowell’s other books. I’m really looking forward to reading them. And maybe re-reading Attachments.