Attachments: Rainbow Rowell (Spoilers Ahead!)

Wow. This book was unexpectedly beautiful and a relatable must-read. Continue to find out what more I had to say 🙂

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NON SPOILER SECTION:

Wow.

There’s books that make you smile, books that make you laugh and then there’s this.

Sorry I haven’t been around for awhile, I was experiencing one heck a reading slump; since my last post I’ve tried reading several books; all fruitlessly. Thinking about giving up I tried one last ditch effort to escape; I went to Dymocks and brought a book. This book obviously.

I finished it five seconds ago and just had to write about it, so here’s what i have to say…

How to begin? Well, I firstly have to say that I went into this book a little doubtful and hesitant. I’ve read two other Rainbow Rowell books before (Carry On and Fangirl) and really liked her style. She writes differently than any other contemporary author I’ve ever read, everything is a little more subtle than a grand gesture that makes the protagonist realise that he’s madly in love; it’s something I’m admittedly addicted to even though I know it’s a tad unrealistic. But R.R does something different, these characters that she portrays -and in this sense i’m speaking specifically about Attachments- are so much more than characters in a book, they’re so real! Everything about them makes me feel like i’m in a conversation with real people facing real day-to-day problem with their struggles seeping into my soul and making me feel like i’m one of them, leading an extraordinarily ordinary life that breathes relatable complications. It’s truly beautiful and enrapturing.

SPOILER SECTION:

In this book specifically we follow the perspective of Lincoln, who is so unsure of himself, his purpose and his life. He works in a Newspaper called “The Courier” as essentially a computing spy who makes sure everyone’s emails aren’t being used for unlawful content. Every night he sits at his desk alone in the office going through countless emails and feeling low and begone because he sees himself as something… less, almost unfulfilled.It’s something as a university student who spends her life wondering if she’ll ever make it can relate to a hell of a lot. Especially since he can’t help going back to university and adding yet another degree to his belt. That’s right, Lincoln is practica

lly a university (and student loan) addict who continues to keep going back trying to find his purpose in life. He starts to finally see a way that it can all look up for him when he begins reading the other main character’s emails. He reads exchanges between Jennifer and Beth two women who also work at the newspaper. Beth reviews movies and writes articles and Jennifer is an editor. The two are best friends who share their lives with each other, something i’ll get back to in a moment. Lincoln’s seemingly inescapable melancholy filled with routine is not some quick fix that disappears as soon as he reads the first email; no. It is far more slow and fulfilling than that, each time that i turned the page i wondered wether or not he would ever feel better again, not noticing that as i was pulled further into the story that he slowly was getting better and better, almost without me noticing until the big changes occurred. It was beautifully realistic and fascinating. He starts off become more sociable and open to new people, making friends and plans, next he starts going to the gym and looking after himself and the next thing I know he’s function as a happy human being. Like falling asleep to quote John Green: slowly than all at once. It was weirdly enough making me feel proud of Lincoln, like he was my best friend who finally pulled himself out of something that made me wish I could rescue him. I felt so happy when the end of the book came and i found out that Beth and Lincoln get together that i smiled enough to hurt my cheeks and a swell of happiness erupted in my chest.

As for the girls, or rather, women… We are taken on a journey through their lives as well and it is beautifully witty and funny and filled with emotion and love; there’s so much that is explored in their lives and what’s frustrating is that we don’t get to hear MORE, Lincoln only gets a portion of their emails that are ‘flagged’ (meaning marked as possibly having naughty content including swearing etc.) so we only get a peek into the lives that they’re leading but it’s enough to get captured in their stories. I’ll start with Jennifer.

Jennifer is a married woman whose partner’s name is Mitch. As I said earlier she works in the newspaper as an editor, which makes her a serious grammar nazi. There’s something about her that is really quite funny and uplifting in her sense of humour and the way that she talks to Beth (her best friend) she care deeply about Mitch and Beth but struggles with her identity and cynical nature, something which she swears she inherited from her mother. She lives her life in this mindset that something is going to go wrong, but she’s also weirdly wise and very kind when she wants to be. During the emails that we’re introduced to and given to read we discover that she’s been having slight marriage problems in that seemingly she and her husband want very different things. Mitch wants a baby and she doesn’t. This state of conflict causes a small and hardly noticeable rift between the two but Jennifer still feels it and can’t help but trying to find comfort with her friend. However, this all starts the change for Jennifer and as starts somewhat accidentally giving into strange impulses and buying baby clothes, which is altogether really kind of cute. She does finally give in to this idea of a baby and ends up trying to get pregnant, something which Beth feels happy for her about and so does Lincoln but the women don’t know about that one.  She, much like Lincoln goes through such a subtle yet expected evolution of character and it was really fun to go on that journey with her, through the eyes of Lincoln and her emails.

Beth on the other hand also goes through some serious change in character, although instead of happening slowly and subtly I have to admit i did see this evolution coming from a mile away; though i suppose that was the point. Beth is in a relationship with the lead guitarist of a band called ‘Sacajawea’ who she has been with since her freshman year in college (if that’s wrong I’m sorry, it’s a different system where I live). Although she feels like she’s desperately in love with him, she suffered through multiple things during the course of their relationship, the disapproval of her parents, her friends and family not quite liking them and above all that her boyfriend Chris acts a little distant and uncaring towards her; yet she still persists. the one problem that she continually can’t wrap her head around is that Chris just won’t propose and Beth feels like her life hasn’t truly worked out the way she planned and so she feels a little aimless and stuck in her situation (a bit like Lincoln don’t you think.) It becomes quite obvious during the length of this book that Beth isn’t all that dedicated to staying with Chris, which become apparent when she first lays eyes on Lincoln, not knowing who he actually is. She becomes instantly infatuated with the way he looks saying at one stage she wants to bite his neck and thinks he is tall and cute. Beth even goes as far as light stalking trying to get in full contact with Lincoln as so far she’s only caught a glimpse of him doing part of his job; which is to help fix computers when their programming misbehaves. Not only does Beth develop a crush on Lincoln whom she dubs “Her Cute Guy” she also expresses interest in other guys during the plot of the book. Now i’m not calling her out as a bad person, I don’t think she is at all, what i think is that she’s is a practically affection less relationship so she goes out looking for people to have imaginary affection with. She doesn’t approach Lincoln at all, and the other guy she thinks is cute she tells that she’s engaged. So she isn’t a cheater i think sub-consciously she’s just trying to reach out for someone who loves her like she feels she deserves; as Chris is not giving her that at all; he is out most night with his band and barely spends any time with her, and when they are in the same house he is distant and not quite there in his demeanour, so she is essentially starved of a healthy relationship. Something which Lincoln thinks he can give her. I think my favourite part of her journey as a person is when she finally breaks it off with Chris, and not just because i like the idea of her with Lincoln. it’s mainly because for her ( and in my opinion) it’s a huge step towards independence, and realising her potential as a person; he finally sends up for herself and says, “no, i deserve better.” and that to me is so amazing! she does something brave and good that makes her life better, and even though she’s sad she knows she did the right thing. (hooray for girl power!)

Overall, this book was brilliant and I felt all warm a mushy inside when i got to the ending, it was a good ending, done in the right way. If i had to say anything negative it would be that it was a kind of slow start and took me a little while to get into, but i think that’s just a comment on the style of writing R.R uses, it’s very much like life, in which your in a state  of endless cycles and then everything huge happens at once. And even though you feel like the roof has just fallen on your head you know you’re better off having now survived the disaster.

 

Til next time,

L.K.

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