Publishing year: 2006
This novel is written in emails. Emmi Rothner sends an email to cancel her subscription to a magazine, but she sends the email to the wrong address.
When she writes the third email, the person who receives the email, Leo Leike, replies, explaining that this is not the email address she needs to write to. Nothing happens for months, and at Christmas she sends a robin-round email, wishing her contacts a happy Christmas, and within her contacts she has added Leo by mistake. This is the beginning of an exchange of emails and the beginning of a virtual relationship.
For months Emmi and Leo don’t know much about each other, other than Leo is involved in a university project about the language of emails and its influence, and Emmi designs websites. Then after a few months Leo gives some information about himself. There was a woman in his life: Marlene. They have been having an on-off relationship, but when Marlene told him that there was someone else, Leo decided to act. He booked a trip to Paris, where he planned to propose, but in the last moment Marlene told him that it was pointless to continue. Leo begged her, and he was waiting for a ping announcing an email, which could save him from his desperation, and when the ping came, it was Emmi’s round robin email wishing him a happy Christmas.
The next email that Emmi sends him is not compassionate about his love story, but quite straight and honest. She doesn’t feel any pity for him and thinks that if he was only interested in Marlene at the beginning of the relationship or when he was about to lose her, that means that she is better off without him, and he is better off without her. Leo’s reply shows he has been offended and hurt. Then we learn something else about Emmi. She is married!
The beginning of this novel shows that this is a quite original novel with fresh, clever language. I love the exchange of emails and how the personality of these two characters appears through the emails, and I like it how we get to know these two characters at the same time they get to know each other.