Bravo for Rainbow Rowell’s Attachments: A Review

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Wow! My first book review on my website.  I’m not even really sure where to start.  I don’t like stars, so none of my reviews will have a star rating.  When I was a little kid in elementary school, I tended to always get blue stars instead of gold and red like the other students.  At the end of my 2nd grade, I asked my teacher why I had always received blue stars and she said because she felt that they were exactly the color of my eyes.  At the time, I didn’t understand what a powerful compliment she was giving me and I stayed stuck in the fact that my fellow classmates were prancing home papers emblazoned with gold stars while my refrigerator glowed back at me in a sea of blue stars.

Maybe we should get back to the review…

Attachments: A Novel

by Rainbow Rowell

“Hi, I’m the guy who reads your e-mail, and also, I love you . . . ”

From the award-winning author of Eleanor & Park, Fangirl, and Landline comes a hilarious and heartfelt novel about love in the workplace.

Beth Fremont and Jennifer Scribner-Snyder know that somebody is monitoring their work e-mail. (Everybody in the newsroom knows. It’s company policy.) But they can’t quite bring themselves to take it seriously. They go on sending each other endless and endlessly hilarious e-mails, discussing every aspect of their personal lives.

Meanwhile, Lincoln O’Neill can’t believe this is his job now- reading other people’s e-mail. When he applied to be “internet security officer,” he pictured himself building firewalls and crushing hackers- not writing up a report every time a sports reporter forwards a dirty joke.

When Lincoln comes across Beth’s and Jennifer’s messages, he knows he should turn them in. But he can’t help being entertained-and captivated-by their stories.

By the time Lincoln realizes he’s falling for Beth, it’s way too late to introduce himself.

What would he say . . . ?

Hmmmm…so where should I start.  First of all, I should mention that I listened to this book on Audible, as I do many of the books I “read”, and the narrator, Laura Hamilton, made the book feel alive, colorful and was the perfect narrator to match Rowell’s words.   As a huge fan of Rowell’s Fangirl and Eleanor & Park (Landline is on my “to read” list) I was excited to read something intended for an adult audience.  That being said, I have to admit I was concerned that it would have a bit of a juvenile feel to it, but I was greatly mistaken.

Once again, Rainbow Rowell’s generously weaves together several plots that come together in the end making for both a realistic and compelling read.  I had spoilers so I won’t be giving any, but let me just say that I would have been extremely upset if the book hadn’t ended the way that it did.  Being that I had read some of her other work, I was surprised by the ending because honestly, I thought it would end much differently.

The fact that the book, and the relationship, of the two main characters is told almost entirely through e-mails is so smart and so well done, that I couldn’t have hoped for anything else.  The back story of Lincoln, the main who’s job it is to monitor their emails, woven together within their world seemingly rises to the top and becomes the main story.  Only a well crafted writer and an amazing storyteller can accomplish these things and do so in a way that seems so effortless.

Being a reader, and an author, who looks for intention and meaning behind the story, I found myself lost at times, trying to figure out what Rowell, as an artist, was trying to tell us.  We have become a society of readers who just wants a good story, some action and an enticing read, that we have forgotten the true craft and purpose of writing a book: to write with intention.  So what exactly is Rainbow Rowell trying to tell us in Attachments?

Uh, did you actually think I was going to tell you? Absolutely not! But I will tell you that I believe Rowell is a much deeper storyteller than she is given credit and even though she has huge fans I believe the level and implication of her work has yet to resonate and one day, these books will be dissected and read within classrooms as a wave of “Midwest Literature”.

My favorite line? “I fucking love Rocky Mountain High!” For me, the entirety of the book was encapsulated in that one sentence in which even an attachment to a song, like an old friend, co-worker, mother or ex, can profoundly change the outcome of our life.

Well done!

Until next time, much love

Peter

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