I first fell for Rainbow Rowell’s writing style, when reading the young adult fiction gem that is Eleanor and Park. Rowell has a way of articulating a vast variety of human emotion, and the words on the page captivate such intense feelings in a relatable format. Recently, I found myself devouring the adult fiction novel Attachments. The premise alone is fascinating – a young man, Lincoln O’Neil working a night shift at a newspaper office where he’s in charge of monitoring employee e-mail. It’s the late 90’s and the company only shifted to computers because the ribbon was discontinued for their typewriters. It’s an interesting reminder of a time when social media and cell phones didn’t dominate the majority of people’s lives and interactions. The novel is formatted where the chapters alternate between Lincoln’s perspective, and the correspondence of e-mails between two women (Jennifer and Beth) who work for the newspaper. It’s funny how telling simple e-mails can be – little personality quirks come through quips, snarky commentary, and friendly encouragement. Jennifer and Beth’s personal stories splashed out in the internet world was exactly the sort of thing Lincoln was supposed to be responsible for flagging and warning in the office, but they’re also exactly what made his job more interesting. Attachments is an interesting story of relationships, and life and risks and chance. It’s easy to see how Lincoln could fall for Beth with such an intimate glimpse into the uncensored depths of her life, and her portrayal of chaos surrounding her. But what should he do when the person has no idea he even knows of their existence? . Readers will sympathize for Lincoln’s awkward position knowing so much about stranger’s private lives – but also how he ends up ultimately dealing with the situation. Attachments is a take on what you do when life doesn’t end up exactly how you’re thinking, and what kind of changes we make when we move forward, and how that one big move can be the catalyst to shift everything. While these characters are all adults, Rowell instills the same realness as her teenage characters – kind of just a combination of the qualities that make humans so vulnerable and unique. The book took me through a rollercoaster of reactions, but it’s always endearing when the wittiness of characters can make you laugh out loud. A few elements of the story are a bit heavy, but the tone of the delivery is lighthearted overall. If you’re looking for a quick, quirky read that’s kind of like your Saturday night chick flick, but with intelligent, intriguing characters totally check out Attachments.
(Photo from the Attachments official page.)