I was going to cram this in the reviewathon pile, but then I realized how long the gibbet I wanted to type out was and how UNWIELDY it made that post, so here we are. I am semi-opposed to this reviewing style, though I tend to like it in practice when other people do it because I like to stick my finger in a pie before I commit.
Premise: email exchange between two co-workers, creeped on (startlingly uncreepily) by a third co-worker whose job it is to security-check emails to make sure no one is personal-emailing on company time (which these two obviously are):
Jennifer to Beth: 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. Email me when you get in, before you do anything else. Don’t even read the comics.
Beth to Jennifer: Ok, I’m putting you before the comics, but make it quick. I’ve got an ongoing argument with Derek about whether For Better or Worse is set in Canada, and today might be the day they prove me right.
Jennifer to Beth: I think I’m pregnant.
Beth to Jennifer: What? Why do you think you’re pregnant?
Jennifer to Beth: I had three drinks last Saturday.
Beth to Jennifer: I think we need to have a little talk about the birds and the bees. That’s not exactly how it happens.
Jennifer to Beth: Whenever I have too much to drink, I start to feel pregnant. I think it’s because I never drink, and it would just figure that the one time I decide to loosen up, I get pregnant. Three hours of weakness, and now I’m going to spend the rest of my life wrestling with the special needs of a fetal alcoholic.
Beth to Jennifer: I don’t think they call them that.
Jennifer to Beth: Its little eyes will be too far apart, and everyone will look at me in the grocery store and whisper, “Look at that horrible lush. She couldn’t part with her Zima for nine months. It’s tragic.”
Beth to Jennifer: You drink Zima?
Jennifer to Beth: It’s really quite refreshing.
Beth to Jennifer: You’re not pregnant.
Jennifer to Beth: I am. Normally, two days before my period, my face is broken out, and I get pre-cramps cramping. But my skin is as clear as a baby’s bottom. And instead of cramps, I feel this strangeness in my womb region. Almost a presence.
Beth to Jennifer: I dare you to call Ask-A-Nurse and tell them that you’ve got a presence in your womb region.
Ok me again. And if you are like WHAT HILARITY, then dive in because things continue in this vein. And if you are like, Scoff, then we can agree to disagree and also that you are a humorless husk and what are you even doing here (I kid [mostly]).
And Jennifer and Beth continue to email each other and Lincoln (the security-email-guard-checker) continues to creep on them, even after he starts to feel bad about it, and I should be like GROSS! UNHANDEYE THESE WOMEN WITH YOUR MALE GAZE but it’s surprisingly Not Like That, and there’s so rarely such a heavy focus on a genuine female friendship and yes, Jennifer and Beth spend a lot of time discussing their respective man-friends so I am sorry, Bechdel test, you do not pass go, but they also talk about their OTHER SHIT and also I badly want to be their friend, so for me the whole Romance angle seemed almost incidental (except for being the reason Lincoln keeps reading the emails and therefore the MacGuffin for You The Reader to be reading their emails) and also you know I will forgive ALMOST ANYTHING when the lols are this relentless.
As has been happening to me with frustrating regularity, Attachments is Rowell’s debut novel and so have no backlist to plunder. WRITE ON, Rowell. You have whetted my appetite, and I will be sated.