Love at first sight is the typical fictional fantasy. Boy meets girl, boy falls for girl, girl reciprocates the feeling. That is almost every single happy-ever-after that we know of. We never question it, how a person can fall in love with someone before they even talk to them, have they fallen for mere aesthetics, or do they have a super power that allows them to see through? It never mattered, because we only wanted to see the spark, and not the fake light that beams it.
But Rainbow Rowell’s “Attachments” turns this stereotypical love story on its head. It is something Rowell calls “Love before first sight”. The brilliant author from bestselling novel “Eleanor and Park”, narrates a love story that bursts from the oddest of situations. In 1999, when the internet was still an astonishing newborn, two colleagues at a newspaper chat over e-mails at work, humorously sharing their daily anecdotes.
Little did they know; the newspaper had hired someone to monitor employee emails that are flagged to be non-work related. Lincoln, the IT night-shifter, reads through Beth and Jennifer’s email thread, until it becomes his very own twisted addiction. Beth, the messy movie reviewer’s words compel his fragile heart; Lincoln sees that she deserves to be loved in all the ways that her boyfriend never does. No matter how many times he tries to pull the brakes on his feelings towards this virtual emailer, it only gets Lincoln more and more involved with her. When love is the disease, the patient rarely fetches for a cure.
Will he find her and sneak a peek of the woman who has got him feeling emotions again? Will he put himself in competition with her very own rock star of a boyfriend or will he take a few steps back and watch from afar? Whatever he chooses, is something he can’t go back from.
If he opens the curtains on all of this, who knows how she’ll react to the freaky guy that read her best jokes and darkest secrets? In this simple yet brilliantly written piece of art, we are transported by a time machine to an era where e-mails were the basic communication method and writing them felt like rubbing your fingers against hand written letters, only better.
We are introduced to a whole other view on love, how one can fall for an engaging dialogue, a true friendship, a pure soul and have their mind formulate an image of that person and not the other way around. In a way, if you read this love story, you will no longer be able to believe anything that goes the other way around. It won’t be logical to you that someone can fall for appearance because you have tasted the sweetness of having it the opposite.