Sunday, July 27, 2014

Book Review: Landline

LandlineAuthor: Rainbow Rowell
Publication Date: July 8, 2014
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Georgie McCool knows her marriage is in trouble. That it’s been in trouble for a long time. She still loves her husband, Neal, and Neal still loves her, deeply — but that almost seems besides the point now.

Maybe that was always besides the point.

Two days before they’re supposed to visit Neal’s family in Omaha for Christmas, Georgie tells Neal that she can’t go. She’s a TV writer, and something’s come up on her show; she has to stay in Los Angeles. She knows that Neal will be upset with her — Neal is always a little upset with Georgie — but she doesn’t expect to him to pack up the kids and go home without her.

When her husband and the kids leave for the airport, Georgie wonders if she’s finally done it. If she’s ruined everything.

That night, Georgie discovers a way to communicate with Neal in the past. It’s not time travel, not exactly, but she feels like she’s been given an opportunity to fix her marriage before it starts . . .

Is that what she’s supposed to do?

Or would Georgie and Neal be better off if their marriage never happened?

“Nobody’s lives just fit together. Fitting together is something you work at. It’s something you make happen - because you love each other.”

“I love you more than I hate everything else.”

“Neal didn't take Georgie's breath away. Maybe the opposite. But that was okay--that was really good, actually, to be near someone who filled your lungs with air.” 

“Georgie. You cannot be jealous of Dawn – that’s like the sun being jealous of a light bulb.”

“Nothing good is easy.”
Landline turned out to be a bit different than I expected it to be. I knew going in that this was not young adult, and of course this does not bother me because I read just as many adult books as I do young adult ones. This book breaches on the genre known as magical realism. The main character, Georgie, is transported to the past when she uses her parents’ old yellow landline that is stored away in her bedroom closet. Georgie is facing a lot of realistic problems within her marriage and when she uses the landline one night to contact her husband, who has left for Christmas to visit his parents in Nebraska, she realizes that she is talking to the Neal from the 1990’s, not 2013.

This book was not my favorite from Rainbow Rowell, but it did have its shining moments. The only thing that I really disliked about the book was the fact that Georgie questioned the phone and her sanity over and over again. She spent pages deciding if it was real or not. What shined through for me was the wonderful picture that Rowell painted of these two lovers and their broken marriage. We learn so much about Neal and Georgie through their late night phone calls, Georgie in 2o13 and Neal in the 1990’s. They face problems that many people face each and every day. Georgie is wrapped up in her job and Neal is unhappy about how his life has turned out.

We go between past and present Neal and Georgie and like I said before we learn a lot about their marriage and their relationship. I really enjoyed Georgie and Neal in the past. They were very relatable characters. Rowell does a really great job with relationships, always! She just gets them and how to make readers fall in love with both characters despite obvious flaws. I actually wish that Georgie would have spent more time on this magical phone. She was not on the phone as much as I would have liked. Those were the best moments of the book!

***A free copy of this book was provided to me by the publishers at St. Martin’s Press in exchange for my honest review***


  1. Landline sounds interesting. It does border somewhat on around A Christmas Carol but it sounds and may check it out. Thanks for the review.

    Aparajita @Le' Grande Codex

  2. I think that if I was able to speak to my husband in the past, I would question my sanity over and over again, as well! :-)

    Kate @ Ex Libris