|Wagon wheels at Rocky Ridge Orchard in Bowdoin, Maine|
Rainbow Rowell captures the cool geek voice of my generation. She uses just the right amount of pop cultural references to place a book in its decade without making the story feel too dated. Her quirky characters are smart and well-meaning but lack judgment. We love them because we can relate to their mistakes. Rowell is best known for her bestseller young adult novels, Eleanor & Park and Fangirl, but she also wrote two novels for adults.
Attachments (2011) was Rowell's impressive debut. Twenty-something Lincoln is still living with his mom at the end of the millennium. His job at the local newspaper is to prevent a Y2K crash and to monitor employee use of email. Beth, a music and film reviewer, and Jennifer, a copy editor, raise flags for using work email for personal chit chat, but instead of issuing a warning, Lincoln reads their exchanges and falls in love with Beth before first sight. Lincoln knows snooping is wrong, but he can't stop anymore than we can stop reading this bittersweet romance.
You've Got Mail. If you loved that movie, read this book.
Given the opportunity to do-over, what would Georgie change? This compelling question was well explored in the narrative, however, the magic phone was never explained. It thus felt like a plot gimmick and didn't integrate well with this otherwise realistic story. Still, I enjoyed the book for the well-developed characters and their witty banter. I often had to put the book down to laugh.
Georgie's dog-breeder mom:
"Kids are perceptive, Georgie. They're like dogs" - she offered a meatball from her own fork to the pug in her lap - "they know when their people are unhappy."
"I think you may just have reverse-anthropomorphized your own grandchildren."It's a Wonderful Life with a feminist twist. If you know someone who lives for holiday specials, Landline would make a wonderful Christmas present. Attachments in paperback (not audiobook) would make a good gift too. Rowell's YA books would be a better match for the teenagers and maybe some adults on your list.
Although I prefer Rowell's young adult fiction over her novels for adults, it's nice to see an author who can cross back in forth between marketing categories. Her YA books have more gritty realism and are less sentimental so I hope she writes more. I'd read any book written by Rainbow Rowell; she's one of my favorite authors. Her writing inspires my writing too.