Attachments is set in the year 1999 amidst all the Y2K craziness. During this time, technology was taking off and most companies began scrambling to find ways to monitor their employees' computer activity. Fear of slacking off at work and using company time for illicit internet viewing made many employers hire IT people to monitor the worker's online activity.
Lincoln is one of those IT people. His job consists of basically three things; reading red flagged e-mails, fixing occasional computer problems, and being bored out of his mind. He hates his job. The late hours and reading other people's e-mails makes him feel like a voyeuristic troll. Despite his aversion to the job, he can't help but enjoy reading the red flagged e-mail exchanges between employees Jennifer and Beth.
Attachments alternates between Lincoln's story and the e-mails between Beth and Jennifer. Lincoln eventually develops a crush on Beth despite never having seen her and eventually travels out of the basement to figure out who she is.
All in all, this is a pretty sweet story. I was a little leery at first since the plot sounded like it could easily venture into creepy stalker territory but luckily, it managed to avoid that. Lincoln's interest in Beth felt like a crush you'd get on an oblivious co-worker and I thought him reading Beth and Jennifer's e-mails was handled really well.
Lincoln was definitely the highlight of the book for me. Still reeling from his break-up with his longtime girlfriend, Lincoln took the job in the IT department thinking of it as something temporary until he figured out what to do with his life. Incredibly shy, Lincoln has a hard time branching out and meeting new people. He has his small group of friends and family, but otherwise isolates himself from the rest of the world. Throughout the novel, we get to see him build up his confidence and find direction in life.
In contrast to Lincoln, Beth is outgoing and doing a job she loves. However, we only get to know Beth through her e-mails with Jennifer and this started to annoy me as the story progressed. While I enjoyed the e-mails, I wanted to know more about Beth and Jennifer than what you could get through their correspondence. Both of their characters were great and I got sucked into their individual stories. So, I would have liked to have seen a couple of chapters from their points of view interspersed throughout the novel.
All in all, this was a pretty fast and light read. I would recommend it to people who enjoyed Bridget Jones's Diary, Meg Cabot's non-young adult books, or Jennifer Crusie's writing.