Attachments: A Novel

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Attachments: A Novel

by Rainbow Rowell

Penguin Publishing Group | March 27, 2012 | Trade Paperback

Attachments: A Novel is rated 4.6 out of 5 by 5.
"Hi, I''m the guy who reads your e-mail, and also, I love you . . . "

From the award-winning author of Eleanor & Park, Fangirl, and Landline comes a hilarious and heartfelt novel about love in the workplace.

Beth Fremont and Jennifer Scribner-Snyder know that somebody is monitoring their work e-mail. (Everybody in the newsroom knows. It''s company policy.) But they can''t quite bring themselves to take it seriously. They go on sending each other endless and endlessly hilarious e-mails, discussing every aspect of their personal lives.

Meanwhile, Lincoln O''Neill can''t believe this is his job now- reading other people''s e-mail. When he applied to be "internet security officer," he pictured himself building firewalls and crushing hackers- not writing up a report every time a sports reporter forwards a dirty joke.

When Lincoln comes across Beth''s and Jennifer''s messages, he knows he should turn them in. But he can''t help being entertained-and captivated-by their stories.

By the time Lincoln realizes he''s falling for Beth, it''s way too late to introduce himself.

What would he say . . . ?
 

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 336 pages, 7.99 × 5.26 × 0.71 in

Published: March 27, 2012

Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0452297540

ISBN - 13: 9780452297548

Found in: Romance

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Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from Achingly adorable! Rainbow Rowell has this way of writing characters who are just such wonderful people that you want to give them big squeezy hugs and name your kids after them. Or maybe you just wish that they existed so that they could be your friends. But at the same time, they're such real, raw people that the cute is never overkill. Lincoln is such a sweet person-- a 28 year old living with his mother who's never quite known how to be with people but is genuinely trying to get his life together. He's helpful, kind, and never quite perfect, which makes his relationships with others either awkward, wonderful, or wonderfully awkward. Beth and Jennifer are both hilarious and honest and fantastically raw with their lives, and I loved how we only see their perspectives through their emails back and forth. The format of the book is so interesting, as we get two completely separate points of view in Lincoln and Beth and Jennifer's emails. I loved the whole idea of love in this book, as it was written in a way that lets the characters grow as individuals before they ever help each other to grow, which can be so important. Also, the ideas of love at first sight and without sight are so sweet. Attachments is a light and satisfying read that is funny and sweet, but also contains some deeper themes of love, growth, and independence. I would recommend it to anyone who needs a de-stressing book, or just a good story.
Date published: 2015-02-16
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Sweet little romance The characters in this book were very likeable and I enjoyed the writing style. I liked how the story was written with regular chapters and then email exchanges. However, the writing was very PG13 and young adult. I would have really enjoyed reading the premise of this book written for a more mature audience. All told, a sweet little romance that I enjoyed.
Date published: 2014-06-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Cute Love Story My first book for 2014. I really loved the story. I think the Author did a great job with the love story. I was almost picturing this as a Rom-Com movie. There were lots of references to movies and movie characters to draw parallels and normally I wouldn't like that so much but in this case, it makes sense since the character of Beth is a movie reviewer. I just feel like the ending was a bit rushed. Would have wanted more details there. No further comment, I don't want to put spoilers. :)
Date published: 2014-03-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Rainbow Rowell does it again! Was already a fan of Rowell's after reading Eleanor and Park and Fangirl but this book was a lot of fun. Rowell does an excellent job of crafting interesting multidimensional characters that really draw you into the story.
Date published: 2014-01-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from love it! I'm so impressed with this novel. Its my second Rowell book, the first was Eleanor and Park, and i love this one just as much as i love E&P. Its engaging and intriguing and its so different! Its entertaining and loveable and touching and just so great! Lincoln, a 28-year-old living with his mother, lands a job at a newspaper reading other peoples mail and making sure they dont abuse the company's email policy. Its boring and dull, but when Beth and Jennifer, two best friends and co-workers, start to use the email for their personal use, Lincoln knows he should report them, or at least warn them. But soon hes in over his head with their entertaining and fun stories, and it isnt before long when Lincoln starts to fall for Beth. But even if she didnt have a boyfriend she loves, what would he say? Attachments is such a great read. Its easy to read and sweet and you cant help but fall in love with all of the unique characters. The story is engaging and it is believeable - Lincoln, like many other people in this world, isnt always selfless and he sometimes can make stupid decisions, like continuing to read Jennifer and Beth's emails. And he explains why its wrong but also why he still does it, which makes it even more real. Its written in Lincoln's POV (third person) and alternates with emails between Jennifer and Beth, and just from those emails readers get a feel for them and are so happy with their emails, its what captivates the most attention, i think. I honestly had no idea how Rowell was going to end it. At all. Because its not your typical romance, i didnt know what to expect. But when the ending did come, i loved it. Yes, Lincoln is a great lead but ill admit, his character and personality can be a little dull, a bit dry. There really isnt much to him. And it can be a bit sappy at times, but that was just like once, so not a big deal at all. Overall, i love this book. Sure, Lincoln's character could've been improved, and i didnt picture him as a big guy, meaning a guy who looks like a football player: broad shoulders and chest and a thick neck and you know, the works, but i got past it. Anyway, overall, Attachments is so fun and includes not deep topics but real and true to life topics, and the romance doesnt overpower the real stuff. Yes, its the ultimate topic and main idea and whatnot but its all balenced really well. 5/5 stars. Interesting and a quick read, heartwarming and fun and funny and just a great book!
Date published: 2013-10-20

– More About This Product –

Attachments: A Novel

by Rainbow Rowell

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 336 pages, 7.99 × 5.26 × 0.71 in

Published: March 27, 2012

Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0452297540

ISBN - 13: 9780452297548

About the Book

Beth and Jennifer's company monitors their office e-mail. Lincoln is supposed to turn people in for misusing company e-mail, but he can't bring himself to crack down on Beth and Jennifer. By the time Lincoln realizes he's falling for Beth, it's too late for him to ever introduce himself.

Read from the Book

ATTACHMENTS ATTACHMENTS ATTACHMENTS CHAPTER 1 CHAPTER 2 CHAPTER 3 CHAPTER 4 CHAPTER 5 CHAPTER 6 CHAPTER 7 CHAPTER 8 CHAPTER 9 CHAPTER 10 CHAPTER 11 CHAPTER 12 CHAPTER 13 CHAPTER 14 CHAPTER 15 CHAPTER 16 CHAPTER 17 CHAPTER 18 CHAPTER 19 CHAPTER 20 CHAPTER 21 CHAPTER 22 CHAPTER 23 CHAPTER 24 CHAPTER 25 CHAPTER 26 CHAPTER 27 CHAPTER 28 CHAPTER 29 CHAPTER 30 CHAPTER 31 CHAPTER 32 CHAPTER 33 CHAPTER 34 CHAPTER 35 CHAPTER 36 CHAPTER 37 CHAPTER 38 CHAPTER 39 CHAPTER 40 CHAPTER 41 CHAPTER 42 CHAPTER 43 CHAPTER 44 CHAPTER 45 CHAPTER 46 CHAPTER 47 CHAPTER 48 CHAPTER 49 CHAPTER 50 CHAPTER 51 CHAPTER 52 CHAPTER 53 CHAPTER 54 CHAPTER 55 CHAPTER 56 CHAPTER 57 CHAPTER 58 CHAPTER 59 CHAPTER 60 CHAPTER 61 CHAPTER 62 CHAPTER 63 CHAPTER 64 CHAPTER 65 CHAPTER 66 CHAPTER 67 CHAPTER 68 CHAPTER 69 CHAPTER 70 CHAPTER 71 CHAPTER 72 CHAPTER 73 CHAPTER 74 CHAPTER 75 CHAPTER 76 CHAPTER 77 CHAPTER 78 CHAPTER 79 CHAPTER 80 CHAPTER 81 CHAPTER 82 CHAPTER 83 CHAPTER 84 CHAPTER 85 CHAPTER 86 CHAPTER 87 CHAPTER 88 CHAPTER 89 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ABOUT THE AUTHOR CHAPTER 1 From: Jennifer Scribner-Snyder To: Beth Fremont Sent: Wed, 08/18/1999 9:06 AM Subject: Where are you? Would it kill you to get here before noon? I’m sitting here among the shards of my life as I know it, and you …if I know you, you just woke up. You’re probably eating oatmeal and watching Sally Jessy Raphael. E-mail me when you get in, before you do anything else. Don’t even read the comics. <<Beth to Jennifer>
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From the Publisher

"Hi, I''m the guy who reads your e-mail, and also, I love you . . . "

From the award-winning author of Eleanor & Park, Fangirl, and Landline comes a hilarious and heartfelt novel about love in the workplace.

Beth Fremont and Jennifer Scribner-Snyder know that somebody is monitoring their work e-mail. (Everybody in the newsroom knows. It''s company policy.) But they can''t quite bring themselves to take it seriously. They go on sending each other endless and endlessly hilarious e-mails, discussing every aspect of their personal lives.

Meanwhile, Lincoln O''Neill can''t believe this is his job now- reading other people''s e-mail. When he applied to be "internet security officer," he pictured himself building firewalls and crushing hackers- not writing up a report every time a sports reporter forwards a dirty joke.

When Lincoln comes across Beth''s and Jennifer''s messages, he knows he should turn them in. But he can''t help being entertained-and captivated-by their stories.

By the time Lincoln realizes he''s falling for Beth, it''s way too late to introduce himself.

What would he say . . . ?
&#160;

About the Author

Rainbow Rowell is the award-winning and bestselling author of&#160;Eleanor & Park,&#160;Fangirl,&#160;Attachments, and&#160;Landline.&#160;She lives in Nebraska with her husband and two sons.

Editorial Reviews

"Perfectly mixing sweet romance with deliciously tart wit, Rowell''s literary debut is a complete charmer." &mdash; Chicago Tribune

"Cracking, laugh-out-loud dialogue, characters that feel painfully real, and a sweet premise about finding love in the information age. If&#160;Attachments&#160;were an email, I''d be forwarding it to my entire list of contacts."
-Jodi Picoult, #1&#160;New York Times&#160;bestselling author of&#160;House Rules and&#160;Sing You Home

"A charming, witty story about both office HR and real human relations."
-Entertainment Weekly, one of the summer''s best reads

"Perfectly mixing sweet romance with deliciously tart wit, Rowell''s literary debut is a complete charmer."
-Chicago Tribune

"Fresh, fun, and charmingly quirky." &mdash; Claire Cook, bestselling author of Seven Year Switch

Bookclub Guide

INTRODUCTION

After moving back home to Nebraska following college, Lincoln isn&#8217;t exactly sure what he wants or who he is. He lives with his mother, he maintains an adequate social life among his role&#8211;playing friends, and he is amassing a decent income at his late night job vetting potentially unprofessional emails at The Courier. Apart from the occasional twinge of guilt reading others&#8217; correspondence, Lincoln has achieved a somewhat contented stasis.

However, Lincoln gets hooked on reading the email exchanges between Features copy editor Jennifer Scribner&#8211;Snyder andThe Courier&#8217;s resident movie critic Beth Fremont. He begins to look forward to their banter and, after awhile, he realizes that he&#8217;s falling for Beth, a woman he has never laid eyes on. How can he possibly be in love with someone he&#8217;s never actually met, and, maybe more importantly, what would she do if she ever found out he has been reading her email every night for months?

Attachments is a story of two 20&#8211;somethings caught in the crisis of adulthood at the end of the millennium. It is tale about finding oneself and moving on. It is a novel about falling in love with the essence of a person rather than the surface.

&#160;


ABOUT RAINBOW ROWELL

Rainbow Rowell is a columnist for the Omaha World-Herald. She lives in Nebraska with her family.

&#160;


A CONVERSATION WITH RAINBOW ROWELL

Q. Attachments includes many references to pop culture, specifically circa the mid to late 1990&#8217;s. What is your relationship with pop culture? How does it inform your writing? From which corners of pop culture do you draw the most inspiration?

I&#8217;ve always been fascinated by pop culture . . . When I was a kid I would read books about the Beatles and the Monkees and pore over old Life magazines. Now I write a pop culture column for our city&#8217;s newspaper, The Omaha World&#8211;Herald.

As a writer, I use pop culture references almost as shorthand. Pop culture is shared culture, so if I say that someone is more of a Star Wars geek than a Star Trek geek, you probably know what I mean. If I say that someone prefers John Lennon to Paul McCartney, or Jacob to Edward, or Batman to Superman . . . You get it.

The trick in Attachments was finding nineties references that would still have meaning today. If I mentioned a song (&#8220;Who Let the Dogs Out?&#8221;) or an actor (Julia Roberts, John Wayne) or a movie (The Matrix), it had to be something that readers would probably still recognize and understand.

Some writers don&#8217;t like to use pop culture references in books or movies because they date a story. But I&#8217;ve never minded that. I like to experience a story in context.

A few of my favorite artists are really good at this - using pop culture references to help tell a story. I think of Nick Hornby (High Fidelity) and Matthew Weiner, the creator of Mad Men.

Q. So much of the book consists of the email repartee between Beth and Jennifer. How did you go about crafting these exchanges? What was most important to you in creating the specific voices of these characters?

Well, it started as a cheat for me. This is my first novel, and I was really anxious about writing the third&#8211;person narrative. The descriptive parts. But I was much more confident about writing dialogue, and email is really just dialogue . . .

So I wrote all of the Beth/Jennifer scenes in first. I wanted their friendship to be a major part of the book - and I wanted to write about how female friendships have moved from the telephone to the computer. In a way, email feels even more intimate than the telephone because you don&#8217;t even have to say anything out loud.

I knew that it could get confusing, the switching back and forth between their two voices, so I tried to make them pretty distinct. Jennifer writes more formally than Beth does; she&#8217;s a copy editor, so she&#8217;s less likely to use sentence fragments or end a sentence with a preposition. She makes fewer pop culture references, and the ones she does make are less hip or current than Beth&#8217;s.

Beth is more self confident, and - in part because of her job - more laid&#8211;back. If I thought of a silly joke, I&#8217;d give it to Beth. If the joke was sharp or bitter, I&#8217;d give it to Jennifer.

Also, Beth is really amused by Jennifer, so I tried to make her sound fond and smiling.

I would actually smile when I was typing Beth&#8217;s stuff, then furrow my brow a bit when I was typing Jennifer.

Q. What role does this novel&#8217;s setting play in your writing of it? How much of Nebraska and the Midwest do you see in this book and how would a different setting have changed the story and characters?

Well, I wanted to set the book in Omaha because people in Omaha almost never get to see our hometown in books or TV or movies - and we get so excited when it happens.

But I didn&#8217;t want the location to be a distraction for other readers. (Almost all of the places I mention in Attachments are real Omaha places, but I never actually say &#8220;Omaha&#8221; anywhere in the book.)

I do think of the characters as very Midwestern . . . The way that Doris talks to everybody who comes into the break room and learns their names. The way that everyone is always offering each other food. The car culture. The gorgeous cheap apartments. The Lutherans.

Q. The characters in this book deal with significant loss and loneliness, but find powerful moments of love as well. What themes or topics do you want your readers to walk away with? For you, which character best speaks to the message of the novel and why?

Attachments is about three people who are all at that age - late 20s, early 30s - where you realize you&#8217;re not a kid anymore. You&#8217;re an adult. And you can&#8217;t just let your life keep happening to you. You have to take the reins, now, or risk never having any of the things you really want in life, whether it&#8217;s love or a family or the right job .

But you also realize at that age how little control you really have.

Life isn&#8217;t like the movies. Things don&#8217;t just fall into place because your favorite song is on the soundtrack or because it&#8217;s New Year&#8217;s Eve.

Lincoln is the heart of the book for me. He&#8217;s the character most in danger of sleeping through life. He has a lot to offer, but he&#8217;s been so passive for so long that you really think he might not ever stand up for himself.

Secondarily . I knew when I started the book that I wanted Lincoln to be a truly good guy. I didn&#8217;t want him to be the guy in the romantic comedy who starts out rude and sexist and is then transformed by true love into a good guy. I reject that entire idea. Bad guys don&#8217;t turn into good guys. If you want a good guy, you need to find one who&#8217;s already good.

I wanted Lincoln to be like the guys in my life - sensitive, kind, idealistic, feminist, smart. I wanted to show that a guy like that can be a dreamy romantic hero.

Q. What are you working on next? Can we expect more from Lincoln and Beth?

I don&#8217;t think I&#8217;ll write anymore about Lincoln and Beth (though I have been posting deleted scenes from the novel on my website, rainbowrowell.com). Those characters seem like they&#8217;re in a good place to me.

My next book comes out in 2013. It&#8217;s called Eleanor & Park, and it&#8217;s about two misfit 16&#8211;year&#8211;olds who fall in love over the course of a school year in 1986.

I wanted to write about how tragic every high school romance is. At 16, you&#8217;re old enough to fall in love - perhaps more powerfully than you ever will again - but you&#8217;re not old enough to do anything about it. Your life isn&#8217;t your own yet. In a way, every 16&#8211;year&#8211;old in love is Romeo or Juliet.

My goal was to write a story about first love that would actually make you feel 16 again while you were reading it. I wanted it to be visceral . . .

After Attachments, it was fun to write a book where the main characters actually meet and have scenes together.

&#160;


DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
  • Who is Lincoln O&#8217;Neill? How would you describe his character when we first meet him? What is your opinion of the status of his life?

  • Much of what we learn about Beth Fremont and Jennifer Scribner&#8211;Snyder comes from their email exchanges. What impression do you get of these two women? What draws you to Beth&#8217;s character? To Jennifer&#8217;s? What about their communication attracts Lincoln?

  • Lincoln&#8217;s job, among other things, is to monitor company email. What is your opinion of Lincoln&#8217;s job? What ethical dilemmas, if any, did you see for Lincoln? How would you have acted given the same position and why?

  • When we first meet Beth through her correspondence, we hear about her relationship with Chris. How would you describe their relationship? What draws Beth to Chris? How does her relationship with Chris affect Beth?

  • How would you describe the fate of Lincoln&#8217;s college relationship with Sam? How does that relationship inform his actions throughout the book? How do you relate to Lincoln&#8217;s experience?

  • What does Lincoln discover about the identity of Beth&#8217;s &#8220;My Cute Guy?&#8221; How does this revelation complicate the story? What is your opinion of how Beth goes about investigating her office crush?

  • Beth&#8217;s longest email to Jennifer recounts the events of attending her sister&#8217;s wedding. What do we learn in that email? What does that email reveal about Beth and what she wants? What effect does this email have on Lincoln?

  • What impact does his brief reunion with Sam have on Lincoln? What significance does the timing of this reunion carry within the story? How would you have handled the same situation and why?

  • Jennifer is dealt a devastating blow late in the novel. How does this event change her? What is your opinion of Beth&#8217;s reaction to the news? How do you feel about Lincoln&#8217;s knowledge of this event?

  • Lincoln learns through reading Beth and Jennifer&#8217;s email that he may have missed his chance with Beth. How would you describe his reaction to this news? How does his ensuing actions following the news differ from how you would have reacted?

  • Describe your reaction to the moment between Lincoln and Beth in the movie theater. What strikes you about this moment? Knowing what Beth knows at that point, would you have acted as Beth did?

  • Attachments brings up the interesting notion of &#8220;love before love at first sight.&#8221; Do you believe in this idea? Is it possible? What do you see in Beth and Lincoln&#8217;s future?