Lincoln has just graduated from yet another degree and scored himself a job at a newspaper as an IT security officer. He thought he’d be protecting the servers from malicious attacks but instead all he seems to do is monitor the program that scans the employees email. There are rules against personal emailing in office hours and it’s Lincoln’s job to sift through the mails that end up in the folder, flagged by using certain words in the text.
Jennifer and Beth are close friends, both working for the newspaper in different departments. Jennifer is happily married to the wonderful Mitch and works as a copy editor. She’s forever thinking she might be pregnant and being terrified of it. Mitch is ready to start a family but Jennifer, well, isn’t.
Beth is a movie critic who lives with her boyfriend from college who still plays in a band and doesn’t have a job or contribute much to the bills. She’s about to be a bridesmaid again for one of her siblings and can’t help feeling a little bitter that yet again one of them is getting married before she is. But her boyfriend is allergic to the word marriage and seems content to live the perennial student rocker life.
Jennifer and Beth email each other constantly, uncaring of the filters in place and most, if not all, of their emails end up in Lincoln’s inbox to read. He should have issued them a written warning the first time he read them, but he couldn’t bring himself to. They were funny and clever and witty and he found himself caught up in their lives, even though he’s never seen them in person. He becomes more interested in Beth and her troubles with her unappreciative boyfriend, and although he has no idea what she looks like, finds himself attracted to her through her vibrant personality that shines through in her emails to Jennifer.
Lincoln has a dilemma. He’s strongly attracted to a woman he has never met and he can’t just go up and introduce himself and how he knows her. But nevertheless he is unable to stop thinking about Beth and to his surprise, it seems that she’s been thinking about him too!
I saw a review of this one over at Books I Done Read and thought ‘I have to read that’. And my library was like yes, we have this sitting on a shelf just waiting for you, come get it right now! And I did. Well, the next day anyway. And then the stars further aligned because my baby slept nearly 8 hours overnight and therefore I slept nearly 8 hours overnight and woke up feeling awesome and not needing to back to sleep after the 6am feeding and I read in bed for nearly 2.5 hours. I cannot remember the last time I did that. I finished this book in less than a day.
This book appeals to the voyeur in me. Lincoln may be bored out of his mind doing his job because apart from Jennifer and Beth, there’s not too much else doing in the emails picked up by the filter, but for me, this job would be awesome! Paid to sit and read other people’s emails and basically surf the net and do…not much else? Yes please! But apparently I am a creeper like that because although Lincoln muchly enjoys their emails back and forth, he also feels bad about it, sort of like he’s peering into their windows while they blithely go about their business. Because Jennifer and Beth are spilling their guts to each other and Lincoln is all a part of this.
Firstly, Lincoln is not a typical hero. He’s 28. He’s got several degrees and what appears to be several Masters. He’s moved back home with his overbearing, well-meaning but smothering mother and seems to have no desire to really leave. She cooks all his food and probably makes his bed for him. He’s a bit of a geek (duh, he’s the IT guy) who doesn’t like going out much, meeting people and he also plays Dungeons and Dragons every week. For real. It’s sort of like he’s from 1985. Although this book is set in 1999 and there’s a whole hoo-haa about Y2K and how it was going to ruin everything and then it pretty much didn’t.
I can understand why Lincoln is sucked into the lives of Jennifer and Beth so easily. They’re both clever and funny and their emails to each other are about serious issues to them, but in a non-serious sort of way. They’re easily believable, real people who you’d love to be friends with yourself. And I really enjoyed their friendship as it was too. They were both supportive and caring of each other even when they clearly thought the other was being silly or making a choice that wasn’t making them happy. And their relationship wasn’t perfect either, as they have a disagreement in the novel. Their interactions were so warm and witty and their gossipy emails were just about normal, everyday things (conceiving, marriage, etc) but they still managed to be really fun. There was no overly dramatic drama, just two good friends chatting about their lives.
Attachments is one of those books that just makes you feel happy – while you’re reading it and after you’ve closed it. I think I’m going to have to add it to the list of books to buy because it is definitely the sort of book I can see becoming a comfort read. One to take down off the shelf when you need a bit of a giggle and pick-me-up.
Book #186 of 2011