As soon as my library started lending Kindle books last fall, I hopped online to check out their selection. As I searched the database, a cover with a pair of desk chairs and the title Attachments split in half and held together with a paper clip popped out at me. After a moment, I remembered that Ryann had recommended it to me. I downloaded it and once it hit my e-reader I opened it up, expecting to read a chapter or two. Instead I read it in one huge gulp, staying up way too late and annoying my husband with my nightstand lamp.
Attachments is the story of a man named Lincoln who is in hibernation, pretty much. After high school, he followed his beloved girlfriend from home in Nebraska to California, where he expected that they’d go to school, graduate and get married. He had happily ever after all figured out. Predictably, this plan goes wrong and by the next year he is home and enrolled in the state school his single mother had wanted for him all along. The next ten years of his life are dedicated to college; he receives multiple masters degrees, mostly because he didn’t want to leave the comfortable place he’s made in school.
The novel begins shortly after Lincoln has taken a job working nights at the local newspaper, reading the emails of anyone who runs afoul of the paper’s internet content policy and sending warnings. (The book is set in the run up to Y2K before newspapers really had to understand the internet.) And here’s the beauty of Attachments: not only is it about Lincoln, but it’s an epistolary novel featuring the letters of Jennifer and Beth, two friends who work at the newspaper. Their emails are so charming and funny that Lincoln can’t bear to give them warnings that someone can see their conversations.
So he doesn’t. He just keeps reading.
I realize this could seem like a deal breaker. What kind of creepy dude reads personal emails? And then dares to fall in love with one of the authors? It’s a testament to Rowell’s talent that Lincoln isn’t creepy, just someone who has spent too much of his life asleep and is trying, the best way he knows how, to wake up.
Do you have any dealbreakers when it comes to books? Have you ever given a dealbreaker book a chance anyway?
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