Adult Fiction · Romance

Attachments by Rainbow Rowell

Beth and Jennifer know their company monitors their office e-mail. But the women still spend all day sending each other messages, gossiping about their coworkers at the newspaper and baring their personal lives like an open book. Jennifer tells Beth everything she can’t seem to tell her husband about her anxieties over starting a family. And Beth tells Jennifer everything, period.

When Lincoln applied to be an Internet security officer, he hardly imagined he’d be sifting through other people’s inboxes like some sort of electronic Peeping Tom. Lincoln is supposed to turn people in for misusing company e-mail, but he can’t quite bring himself to crack down on Beth and Jennifer. He can’t help but be entertained-and captivated- by their stories.

But by the time Lincoln realizes he’s falling for Beth, it’s way too late for him to ever introduce himself. What would he say to her? “Hi, I’m the guy who reads your e-mail, and also, I love you.” After a series of close encounters and missed connections, Lincoln decides it’s time to muster the courage to follow his heart . . . even if he can’t see exactly where it’s leading him.

Written with whip-smart precision and charm, Attachments is a strikingly clever and deeply romantic debut about falling in love with the person who makes you feel like the best version of yourself. Even if it’s someone you’ve never met.

Favorite Quote:  The Courier was probably the last newspaper in America to give its reporters Internet access.  At least that’s what Greg said.  Greg could still remember when the reporters used electric typewriters.  “And I can remember,” he said, “because it wasn’t that long ago–1992.  We switched to computers because we couldn’t order the ribbon anymore, I shit you not.”

It’s late 1999, and Lincoln has just been hired to read people’s email.  The Courier is a newspaper in Nebraska that has finally given its’ employees internet and email access and they need a way to police it.  And even though he doesn’t like the idea of reading others emails, it’s a respectable job.

Lincoln goes about his day, reading the email that has been flagged for some reason by the computer system and sending warnings to employees, and before long, he stumbles across two women using company time to converse back and forth about personal issues.  Lincoln cannot seem to find a reason to send them a warning and he cannot stop reading their emails.  The women, Beth and Jennifer, are funny and smart.  He learns all about Jennifer’s relationship with her husband, Mitch, and about Beth’s sister’s upcoming wedding and rocker boyfriend.

Soon, Lincoln becomes a little obsessed with reading their correspondence.  And then he starts to have feelings for Beth, who he’s never seen.  But, even though he may be in love with her, it would kind of be weird to introduce himself to her and have to tell her that he’s been reading her email for months.   Lincoln struggles with the morality of what he’s doing, but can’t seem to discontinue his only avenue of contact with her.  Sounds creepy, I know.

How do I love Lincoln?  Let me count the ways.  1) I love that he is not your typical romance super-hero.  He’s bumbling, he plays Dungeons & Dragons.  He lives with his mother and one of his best friends is a 60+ night janitor at work with whom he shares his mother’s home cooked dinners.  2) He’s only ever been in love once in his life and didn’t think that he would ever fall in love again.  He’s the type to mate for life and if that crazy bitch hadn’t broke his heart, he would still be with her. 3) He falls in love with Beth without ever seeing what she looks like.  At least, not until he’s way too far gone for it to matter. 4) Apprently, he’s pretty cute.  Like a big, cute lumberjack.  And he smells good.  And he’s nice to children and old people and doesn’t tell his mother to mind her own business.  5) He grows and matures and betters himself throughout the course of the book.

Basically, Lincoln made the book.  The women were a lot of fun to read about, but we have a limited view of their lives, especially after the emails mysteriously stop.  Lincoln was a complicated character.  You wanted him to have his happily ever after, because he deserved it, but it was interesting to see how the author would make his actions forgivable.  Indeed, he was not a bad person, and actually pretty honorable, but stuck in a sucky situation.  Also, there’s the case of him being in love with Beth, who’s living with her boyfriend of 9 years, and just how will that play out?  Cause it turns out, rocker boyfriend isn’t exactly a bad guy.




19 thoughts on “Attachments by Rainbow Rowell

  1. Someone had recommended this book to me and your review makes me want to read it even more! It’s pretty sad that I was super excited to see that Lincoln plays D&D… I love super nerdy boys and don’t see enough of them in fiction!

  2. I read an interview with the author recently and it made me interested in the book. And now your rave review has me even more interested. It sounds like such a cute story and I love how you describe Lincoln. Will have to track this one down!

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