Book review: Attachments

AttachmentsPretty much everyone in a corporate environment has had raised an eyebrow at the IT guys, they who lord it over your machines and computers, and most importantly, serve as vanguards to the Internet. In Attachments, two newspaper colleagues, an editor and a movie writer, negotiate the days of early Internet, using their office email to trade gossips and catch up on each other’s lives.

As is the stuff of corporate legends, one IT dude is able to read all their email exchanges.

Depending on the your prejudices, you may expect the IT guy to be the villain in this story but Rainbow Rowell immediately paints Lincoln as the ultimate sweetheart. He loves his mom, befriends old ladies, and the best part, looks hot without knowing it (!!!). That alone made me giddy over this character, haha; I imagine him as a Jamie Oliver-lookalike. So overall, he is painted as this pretty attainable, next-door type of guy. (The cons: he lives with his mother, plays Dungeons and Dragons, has little to no social life, a geek in many ways. PS: This is also the first time I’ve ever been able to relate to a male character; or at least, the first in a long time that I can remember.)

So that’s how the magic happens: Lincoln gets hooked on Jennifer and Beth’s correspondences, while he attempts to introduce himself to them in the real environment, outside the virtual confines of the Internet. It’s a fairly simple story: there’s hardly any conflict or antagonist. It’s simply about two people falling in love.

I liked this book a lot 🙂

* * * *

CHAPTER 1

From: Jennifer Scribner-Snyder
To: Beth Fremont
Sent: Wed, 08/18/1999 9:06 AM
Subject: Where are you?

Would it kill you to get here before noon? I’m sitting here among the shards of my life as I know it, and you …if I know you, you just woke up. You’re probably eating oatmeal and watching Sally Jessy Raphael. E-mail me when you get in, before you do anything else. Don’t even read the comics.

<<Beth to Jennifer>> Okay, I’m putting you before the comics, but make it quick. I’ve got an ongoing argument with Derek about whether For Better or For Worse is set in Canada, and today might be the day they prove me right.

<<Jennifer to Beth>> I think I’m pregnant.

<<Beth to Jennifer>> What? Why do you think you’re pregnant?

<<Jennifer to Beth>> I had three drinks last Saturday.

<<Beth to Jennifer>> I think we need to have a little talk about the birds and the bees. That’s not exactly how it happens.

<<Jennifer to Beth>> Whenever I have too much to drink, I start to feel pregnant. I think it’s because I never drink, and it would just figure that the one time I decide to loosen up, I get pregnant. Three hours of weakness, and now I’m going to spend the rest of my life wrestling with the special needs of a fetal alcoholic.

<<Beth to Jennifer>> I don’t think they call them that.

<<Jennifer to Beth>> Its little eyes will be too far apart, and everyone will look at me in the grocery store and whisper, “Look at that horrible lush. She couldn’t part with her Zima for nine months. It’s tragic.”

<<Beth to Jennifer>> You drink Zima?

<<Jennifer to Beth>> It’s really quite refreshing.

<<Beth to Jennifer>> You’re not pregnant.

<<Jennifer to Beth>> I am.

Normally, two days before my period, my face is broken out, and I get pre-cramps cramping. But my skin is as clear as a baby’s bottom. And instead of cramps, I feel this strangeness in my womb region. Almost a presence.

<<Beth to Jennifer>> I dare you to call Ask-A-Nurse and tell them that you’ve got a presence in your womb region.

<<Jennifer to Beth>> Given: This is not my first pregnancy scare. I will acknowledge that thinking I’m pregnant is practically a part of my monthly premenstrual regimen. But I’m telling you, this is different. I feel different. It’s like my body is telling me, “It has Begun.”

I can’t stop worrying about what happens next. First I get sick. And then I get fat. And then I die of an aneurysm in the delivery room.

<<Beth to Jennifer>> OR …and then you give birth to a beautiful child. (See how you’ve tricked me into playing along with your pregnancy fiction?)

<<Jennifer to Beth>> OR …and then I give birth to a beautiful child, whom I never see because he spends all his waking hours at the day-care center with some minimum-wage slave he thinks is his mother. Mitch and I try to eat dinner together after the baby’s in bed, but we’re both so tired all the time. I start to doze off while he tells me about his day; he’s relieved because he wasn’t up to talking anyway. He eats his sloppy joe in silence and thinks about the shapely new consumer-science teacher at the high school. She wears black pumps and nude panty hose and rayon skirts that shimmy up her thighs whenever she sits down.

<<Beth to Jennifer>> What does Mitch think? (About the Presence in your womb. Not the new consumer-science teacher.)

<<Jennifer to Beth>> He thinks I should take a pregnancy test.

<<Beth to Jennifer>> Good man. Perhaps a common-sensical kind of guy like Mitch would have been better off with that home ec teacher. (She’d never make sloppy joes for dinner.) But I guess he’s stuck with you, especially now that there’s a special-needs child on the way.

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