“Hi, I’m the guy who reads your e-mail, and also, I love you . . . “
Beth Fremont and Jennifer Scribner-Snyder know that somebody is monitoring their work e-mail. (Everybody in the newsroom knows. It’s company policy.) But they can’t quite bring themselves to take it seriously. They go on sending each other endless and endlessly hilarious e-mails, discussing every aspect of their personal lives.
Meanwhile, Lincoln O’Neill can’t believe this is his job now- reading other people’s e-mail. When he applied to be “internet security officer,” he pictured himself building firewalls and crushing hackers- not writing up a report every time a sports reporter forwards a dirty joke.
When Lincoln comes across Beth’s and Jennifer’s messages, he knows he should turn them in. But he can’t help being entertained-and captivated-by their stories.
By the time Lincoln realizes he’s falling for Beth, it’s way too late to introduce himself.
What would he say . . . ? (from Goodreads)
I believe this is Rowell’s first novel and, just like the other works I read from her, is beautifully written and hard to put down. If I’d started earlier in the day, I would have read it in one sitting.
What I liked about it:
- I love epistolary novels, and although this is not exactly one, it’s almost like that. Instead of letters, we read Jenn and Beth’s emails, which are actually more like a chat, and remind me of the long chat conversations I used to have (who am I kidding, I still have) with my best friends, talking all kinds of crazy things + real life and serious talking. The novel, however, it’s not entirely told by emails, because when we read about Lincoln, is just regular writing.
- There are no bad guys. Only some annoying characters, just like in real life, but that at the end there are not even that annoying.
- Characters felt believable and like real people.
What I didn’t love about it:
- I can’t help but wonder how would I react if something like this would happen to me. Some guy at work falls in love with me while reading personal and private emails I wrote to a friend. And he lures around my cubicle when I’m not there. Lincoln doesn’t feel good about it and all that, and really tries to stop the creep in him, but still… Nowadays, social media allows all kind of stalkery behaviour, but maybe it was different in the 90s, when the story is setted? Doesn’t the fact that I love epistolary novels means that I like to read other people’s mail too? Is this something we all like to do, despite knowing is wrong? Is that why epistolary novels exist?
Anyway, the novel is really enjoyable and recommendable.