I read this book in a day, that’s how much I enjoyed it!
The book follows the emails (and lives) of two women, Beth and Jennifer, who work for a local newspaper. It’s set in 1999 so the concept of sending messages to each other via email is relatively new. Because the ‘powers that be’ are convinced that people will immediately start online shopping and looking at porn, they employ an IT guy who comes in at night and monitors what’s going on. His name is Lincoln. He reads any email that is red flagged, or has a word in it that may cause offense. This is how he meets Beth and Jennifer. Instead of disciplining them he starts to enjoy reading their emails to each other and feels like he is involved in their lives. He is a kind of lonely guy who had a bad break up and is now back home with his mum. He plays Dungeons and Dragons for goodness sake!
So, the more he reads the more he starts to fall for one of them. Although she is in a relationship with a rock god she is unhappy and longing for some normality. She feels too old to be a groupie and wants to settle down, while the other one is trying to avoid getting pregnant (although she is married and her husband is longing for a child). But now he’s in a difficult position; how can Lincoln introduce himself to the woman that he has fallen in love with, without mentioning that he has been reading her personal emails for months and knows everything about her? in the meantime he finds out that she is interested in him – very complicated!
I really enjoyed this book, maybe because it reminded me of a less complicated time when you had to speak to the person you liked instead of texting them! There is also the Y2K drama in there which I remember really clearly because everyone was convinced the world was going to end and there would be no more computers (imagine if that happened now?!) The ending is kind of predictable but I didn’t really mind that, the characters were a little annoying and I didn’t empathise with them as much as I wanted to but, its definitely worth a read. It has also made me want to read more of her books, especially as I have already read Eleanor and Park and really enjoyed that too.