Attachments, by Rainbow Rowell

6 Jan

Format: Kindle Edition, 336 pages
Published: April 14, 2011
Publisher: Orion
Back cover blurb:
It’s 1999 and for the staff of one newspaper office, the internet is still a novelty. By day, two young women, Beth and Jennifer, spend their hours emailing each other, discussing in hilarious detail every aspect of their lives, from love troubles to family dramas. And by night, Lincoln, a shy, lonely IT guy spends his hours reading every exchange.
At first their emails offer a welcome diversion, but as Lincoln unwittingly becomes drawn into their lives, the more he reads, the more he finds himself falling for one of them. By the time Lincoln realizes just how head-over-heels he really is, it’s way too late to introduce himself. What would he say to her? ‘Hi, I’m the guy who reads your e-mail – and also, I think I love you’.
After a series of close encounters, Lincoln decides it’s time to muster the courage to follow his heart . . . and find out whether there really is such a thing as love before first-sight.
Heartwarming, witty and unforgettable, ATTACHMENTS is an irresistible romantic comedy that has it all.
My review:
Some of my favourite stories are those where people fall in love via letters, where their words mean everything and they gradually reveal their personalities and feelings without taking any notice of physical appearances. So when I saw the blurb for this book I knew it was for me, and add in the newsroom setting and I was hooked.

Firstly, I must say I have worked in newsrooms with plenty of skeevy IT guys before, so it sent a shudder down my spine to find out Lincoln’s job involved reading intraoffice e-mails. However, he turns out to be a lovely, geeky guy working lonely nightshifts who becomes somewhat addicted to the correspondence between movie reviewer Beth and copy editor Jennifer which gets flagged by the office software for containing inappropriate words. In fact they are just discussing their lives – their partners, Beth’s sister’s wedding, Jennifer’s suspected pregnancy – and Lincoln decides not to reprimand them. Instead he keeps reading, and over several months comes to fall in love with Beth. Without ever having seen her.

Meanwhile, she has seen him, although she doesn’t know his name or what he does at the newspaper. When she tells Jennifer about the cute guy, and Lincoln eventually realises she’s writing about him, he dares to hope… *sigh*

I loved the way Lincoln came out of his shell as the book progressed. He made friends on nightshift, joined a gym, and all the while I was rooting for him to pluck up the courage to talk to Beth. There is tragedy, many laugh-out-loud moments, lots of pop culture references, and journalism in-jokes. Rowell is a reporter, so she gets all the newsroom eccentricities spot on and I recognised many of the colourful secondary characters from my own experiences. I also laughed out loud reminiscing at the Y2K subplot; like many I know, the newspaper was reluctant to change to computers and allegedly only got rid of its electric typewriters in 1992. At the newsroom I worked in in 1992, we only just got electric typewriters that year!

I loved this book. It’s so me I wish I had written it.

My rating: 5/5
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Jennifer Keishin Armstrong

Writing for the Pop Culture Literate.

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