Attachments by Jeff Arch
Emotional attachments may run deeper than they appear.
I loved this book. There was a whole lot of everything, and I’m still thinking about it even now that I’m finished reading it.
Attachments is a book about life— growing up, choices, consequences, death, grief, love, secrets, hope, uncertainty, marriage. There is so much to relate to and connect to as a human, a mother, a wife that I found myself constantly going back to read more. I wasn’t expecting it to be as powerful as it was. There is no way to read this book without feeling something. You might not agree with the characters or like them, but I felt, more so in this book than in others that I've recently read, that these characters are real.
The plot is very structured and well thought out. And that’s why you connect and feel the pain, the heartache, the hope and at times the desperation. The characters are all brought back together after more than a decade apart after tragedy strikes at the boarding school where they all meet as teenagers.
The nasty love triangle of the three main characters during their adolescents still haunts them. But, mix in the mystery of why they were summoned to the school out of the blue, and now you have some extra drama.
I love multiple points of view and non-linear timelines. So getting flashbacks from each character at different moments while seeing them struggle with their current lives caught my interest from the beginning. These perspectives include those of the new generation at the boarding school. Needless to say, the connections and attachments run deep.
The characters are so strongly developed; their emotions so raw. Each one is so different and yet you can understand and feel everything that they do. They are all searching for something. For some it’s answers, for others it’s closure, for others is to remember or forgiveness. It’s about not forgetting how to live even when life seems impossible. It’s about recognizing that people have motivations and rationales for decisions they make. Those reasons may not make sense to us, but for them it could be the hill they choose to die on and will stand beyond until the end of time.
This book benefits tremendous from the flashbacks as they just pull you in. You don’t have the whole story of their time at Pocono Prep at the beginning. As a result, the flashbacks are all delivered as jagged little jigsaw puzzle pieces that you are trying to put together and connect to the events of the present and the other snippets of the past that are slowly provided. There isn’t full clarity until the end when all the puzzle pieces have been neatly put together.
Throughout all of it, you get the parallel experience of Chip as he is a present day student, and directly impacted by the tragedy. Not much has changed in the world of the school in the 15ish years that has gone by for the main characters. Can’t say the same for their lives.
There are attachments that these characters have that they don’t even realize until more and more details begin to be exposed. It’s like an uncomfortable reunion where everyone knows a piece of the story, but no one actually knows the whole thing so no one wants to share what they know because there is so much uncertainty and risk. In the end the truth always comes out.
This was such a great book. I’m so glad I had the chance to read it and highly recommend that you add it to your TBR list. It is due to be released on May 11, 2021.
Where does this book land on my bookshelf?
I’ve have to put this one on my top shelf. Where I may not necessarily read the book again in its entirety. There were so many moving moments and narration and dialogue that meant something to me. There were some that I even took a screen shot of. This is one that just really hit me: (p. 343)
I love books that make me feel not so alone in life. That what you experience may be completely different from everyone else, but the emotions, the attachments, and the lessons can be so similar.
Thank you @NetGalley for an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.