For those of you joining me on the Book Club journey, we are at the end of our first week with Rainbow Rowell’s Attachments. (***actually, yesterday was the end of the first week, but when one’s internet service is intermittent and unreliable, one must apologize for being tardy – so sorry!***) Before I dive in to my thoughts on the first 27 chapters, I must first report on the fact that I am quite thrilled to be doing this in the first place. For one thing, it’s fantastic to have someone recommend something to me that I wouldn’t have necessarily picked up on my own to read. I tend to lean towards classic literature, pick up the odd Scandinavian crime novel and occasionally indulge in a biography or memoir. It’s not that I’m snooty or particular, it’s just what I like. If it ain’t broke, as they say…
Something else that has made me quite excited to be doing this book club, is that people that have been so thrilled to participate. Reading is something I do by myself, when I’m all tucked into my bed or lounging about in the living room. While I have been known to ramble on to other people about how much I’m loving what I’m reading, I haven’t had the opportunity to discuss a book with someone while we both read it since… well, since English 104. That was a long time ago. A looong time ago.
On to the book.
To sum it up concisely, we have Beth and Jennifer, co-workers and confidantes, who appear to spend much of their work day zipping e-mails back and forth to each other. Lincoln, the Internet Security Officer, is reading their e-mails and falling in love with Beth. What to do?
Thus far, we are getting to know the characters, their backgrounds and motivations. We read along with Lincoln as he studies Beth and Jennifer’s e-mail, and we follow him home where we learn that he is a well-meaning misfit who lives with his mother. Beth and Jennifer have witty banter down to an art form. They strike the perfect balance of love and friendly mockery, that only best friends can get away with. Beth is floundering in a long-term relationship with a boyfriend who dreams of becoming a rock star. Jennifer is married and terrified of becoming pregnant, while her husband dreams of a family, and soon.
This all takes place at the very end of the nineties, which I find quite amusing. I worked in a large corporate office at the turn of the century, and remembering the buzz and panic about Y2K, which is mentioned in the book. I can certainly relate to the relationship troubles of Beth and Jennifer. I’ve had a number of friends on both sides of the baby fence. It’s a tricky place to be, and I’m looking forward to seeing how that unfolds for Jennifer and her husband in the coming chapters. Will she finally fall pregnant for real? Will Mitch leave her to make his babies with someone else?
As for Beth, she’s a grown woman with a good job, supporting a deadbeat boyfriend who is non-committal in the marriage department, and still trying to realize his dream of becoming a rock star. Classic nineties boyfriend. Been there, done that. She’s miserable and hanging on. Always a bridesmaid, never a bride. I hope to see her kick his lazy ass to the curb. Who wants to marry a guy like that anyway? Yuck.
Lincoln is struggling to connect to anyone. His mother, his sister, his friends… he reminds me of someone I know very well, who shall remain nameless. A boy trapped in a man’s body. His own worst enemy. He hasn’t yet learned the art of being different, but I hope to see him find his way a bit more in the coming chapters.
Thus far, I have enjoyed the book. The relationships are real and relatable, the dialogue between the two friends is quite sharp and very funny. I don’t feel yet like I’ve read far enough to make any profound observations, but I’m interested in the characters, and how it will all play out. In a way it’s mundane. It’s just the lives of a few everyday people, unfolding and intertwining, with nothing special happening… and that is precisely what is so engaging about it.
This coming week, we are going to read through to Chapter 60. Ready… set… go!
I’d love to hear your feedback if you’re reading along. It’s never too late to start up. Please comment and share!