I'm starting to gear up for my next brown bag luncheon, so I need to read some books outside the mystery genre. Rainbow Rowell's debut novel, Attachments, was perfect for the first one. The hardcover came out a year ago, but the paperback has just been released. It's funny and romantic with protagonists that are just nice people. Attachments is charming. I read it in one day because I just had to see how Rowell managed to bring the characters together.
After ten years or so in college, Lincoln O'Neill is back in Nebraska, living with his mother while he makes good money working in information technology at the Courier newspaper. It's August, 1999, and Lincoln has two jobs at the paper. He's working with a team to get the paper ready for the Y2K threat at the millenium. And, he has a job that makes him feel like a voyeur. He reads staff e-mail at night, the e-mail that has been flagged as inappropriate. Lincoln's supposed to be impartial in enforcing the rules. The newspaper was "probably the last newspaper in America to give its reporters Internet access," and they were afraid of what would happen.
Lincoln does just fine, except when it comes to the e-mail conversations between Beth Fremont, the movie reviewer, and Jennifer Scribner-Snyder. As the two women shared confidences about Beth's boyfriends, weddings, and Jennifer's husband and pregnancy, Lincoln found himself falling for Beth. He was never going to warn them, because he liked them. Lincoln is totally caught up in their lives, and he doesn't even know what they look like. Then, Beth, whose boyfriend is a rock guitarist, starts talking about "The Cute Guy" at the newspaper, Lincoln.
How can Lincoln ever introduce himself to Beth since he's been reading her e-mails?
Lincoln is actually the main character in Rowell's novel, as he tries to find his place in life. Lincoln, the nerd, the Dungeons & Dragons player who still lives at home at twenty-eight, has no real reason to move out, and to move on. Rowell deals beautifully with family dynamics between Lincoln, his mother and his married sister.
Lincoln is lucky in his choice of friends. He has his D&D friends, as well as a friend to go to concerts with, since he wants to see Beth's boyfriend.
And, the e-mail conversations between the two women are funny and touching. It's a true friendship as Beth sees Jennifer through some rocky patches. There's so much humor in their conversations including the obligatory tribute to Colin Firth that appears in so many women's novels now. I laughed out loud when their conversation dealt with censoring information about inseminating tigers.
Go back to 1999. Remember the fear of Y2K. It's only a small part of this book, but it helps set the timeframe for this enchanting story of nerds and friendship and romance. Rainbow Rowell's Attachments is a funny, warm debut novel. I can't wait to share it with friends.
I have been a library manager/administrator for over 30 years, in Ohio, Florida, Arizona, and, now, Indiana. Winner of the 2011 Arizona Library Association Outstanding Library Service Award. I am a contributing Book Reviewer for Library Journal, Mystery Readers Journal, ReadertoReader.com and VibrantNation.com. Winner of the 2009 and 2010 Spinetingler Awards for Best Reviewer. First Fan Guest of Honor for Desert Sleuths Chapter of Sisters in Crime, Write Now! Conference.
It's an honor to be asked to review books, and I'm grateful to all the publishers, publicists, and authors who send me books. Thank you. Reviews will appear on my blog if I've had a chance to read, and finish, the book. If I do not finish a book, I won't review it, and I will not respond to emails asking when, or if, I'll be reviewing a book.
My reviews are only my opinion, and do not reflect the views of the Evansville Vanderburgh Public Library.
I will not review self-published books, and, at the present time, do not accept books in e-book format.
My Oct. 19, 2009 blog provides full disclosure that I only receive review copies of books, with no other compensation. All review copies are marked as such. If there any any questions, please feel free to contact me.