Throwback Thursday was originally started by Renee at It’s Book Talk. It is a way to highlight some old favorites or share books that I’m finally getting around to reading that were published more than a year ago. Or, in my case, usually more than ten years ago.
Attachments, by Rainbow Rowell, was published in 2011 and takes place from late 1999-2000. This, for any reader born after 2000, was the real beginning of companies using intra-web applications and playing with allowing employees to have access to the internet. There were rampant concerns about Y2K and IT people came out of the shadows to save us all. And, obviously, read our e-mails.
Rowell focuses on this snippet of recent history and features Lincoln O’Neill who has been hired by The Courier as an internet security officer. He thought he would be putting up firewalls and crushing hackers when his night actually consists of reading e-mails that are flagged for inappropriate words. Typically, he reads the e-mail and sends the individual a warning. But one exchange, between Jennifer and Beth, pops into his folder and he is so captivating and engaged in their messages that he not only doesn’t warn them, he continues reading. The more he reads, the more he becomes invested in these women and their lives. And he finds himself falling in love with Beth even though he had never seen her. How can he admit his feeling when he has been invading her privacy?
I worked in an office as a intra-office e-mail trainer right around this time and Rowell took me right back to that (horrible) job. Beyond explaining to people that their disk holder was not a cup holder (for real) it was also my job to review their exchanges looking for porn and time wasters. Lincoln got to read adorable conversations between Jennifer and Beth and I got to inform a nasty man that just because other people couldn’t see into his cubicle didn’t mean that it was permissible to watch “light” porn on his break. Sigh. Life is better in books.
Rowell may give Lincoln a better experience than mine but he deserves it. At 27 Lincoln has several masters degrees but lives with his Mom and is still nursing a broken heart from his first love. Reading the supportive and loving messages between Jennifer and Beth is a balm for his soul. And who could blame him? Jennifer and Beth are the epitome of great girl friends – supportive, loving, hilarious and just there for each other.
I loved this little book for all the reasons I hated my IT job – the people. Rowell’s characters are good to the core and grow into only more likeable characters as the story continues. If you have not already enjoyed this sweet story I highly recommend it!
Tell me, please!
Have you ever worked a job featured in a book? How was your experience the same / different?