While I enjoy romantic comedies on the big screen, I know very little about the romance genre and its myriad subgenres. The good folks at CBR have made some solid recommendations for me in the past to help me get into romance books (ex. The Hating Game) and were able to fine-tune those recs even more based on my feedback. That’s how I got to Rainbow Rowell’s Attachments. Well done, CBR! This is my kind of book!
I enjoyed Attachments because it was approachable, relatable, and creative. While it’s got plenty of romance talk, it’s mostly about relationships. Rainbow Rowell understands both the comfort and friction common between spouses, lovers, best friends, siblings, parents, and the occasional creepy coworker. Most of the primary characters are in their late twenties and early thirties – far enough into life to have substantial relational pasts and war wounds from the battlefield of love. Several of the characters are trying to decide whether they are accepting new forms of old dreams, or just plain settling. The novel is at its best when dealing with these kinds of relationships and tensions.
The workplace romance part is also fun. Lincoln is late-twenties IT guy who works the night shift at a local paper. The year is 1999, and he is charged with monitoring staff email for red flags, as well as figuring out if Y2K is going to destroy western civilization. As part of his nightly duties, he has to constantly read the emails of Beth and Jennifer, two best friends who work at the paper. Jennifer is married to a band director and Beth is in a long-term relationship with Chris, the supersexy guitar player of a local rock band. Lincoln gets to know the women through their emails. Over the course of a year or so, they all grow and change. I won’t get too far into the Xs and Os of what comes next.
Rowell has some digital collections of her YA work available. I’ll either check those out next, or Landline.