Genre: Adult, Contemporary/ Romance, Magical Realism
Source: First Reads Giveaway (St. Martin’s Press)
“Nobody’s lives just fit together. Fitting together is something you work at. It’s something you make happen – because you love each other.”
― Rainbow Rowell, Landline
Georgie McCool knows her marriage is in trouble;it has been in trouble for a long time. She still loves her husband, Neal, and Neal still loves her, deeply — but that almost seems beside the point now.
Maybe that was always beside 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 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?
*I would like to thank Goodreads and St. Martin’s Press for the copy of this book*
I feel like this is a book that many people will disagree with me on. So many of the reviews and ratings I have seen for this book are raving about how great it was and how amazing Rainbow Rowell is. This is my first Rainbow Rowell book so I have no doubt she is a fantastic author, but this book was personally just not for me. (I plan on picking up her other books!)
The one thing this book really had going for it is that Rowell’s writing is phenomenal. The story was absolutely adorable and had many cute moments, quirky characters and some fantastic pop culture references. I enjoyed learning the story of Georgie’s and Neal’s romance and felt it was a realistic representation of how relationship are not always happy and that there is work and communication needed to make it work out. Relationships are give and take and Georgie’s internal struggle throughout the book shows how she works through the problems in her marriage. The magical realism used in the book through the telephone was a nice touch and gives more to the story as it provides more background to Georgie and Neal’s story and make Georgie really think about what went wrong. I did feel like there were questions that were left unanswered about the phone and I didn’t feel like there was enough explanation in regards to it. Another thing was that although it was a fast paced read the book lacked on the action side. I felt like it was very dialogue heavy and for me it made the story feel like it was dragging and that some parts were not necessary to the overall story. I also wish that the flashbacks were a little more separated because at times it was jumping to present and the past leaving me a little confused at where we were at in the timeline.
Rowell writes great characters with interesting personalities and quirks. I feel like the characters in Landline really break the mold for the popular character type in most novels today. They are realistic to the wide variety of people living in this world and are flawed. Georgie is a strong and driven protagonist that knows what she wants and goes after it. I felt invested in her story and found her to be relatable. I really enjoyed the range of characters and relationships between all of the characters and Georgie. I was a huge fan of Heather! I also really enjoyed Seth and Georgie’s relationship and made me think of my relationship with my best friend. I found it hard to like Neal. From Georgie’s perspective he seemed like a great man and dad, but just by his actions and his personality made it hard for me to like him.
Overall I thought this was a cute and enjoyable story. The writing was fantastic and the book was a fast paced read that had me turning the pages. The characters are refreshing and enjoyable. I did wish there was more action, questions answered revolving around the rotary phone (where it came from, was it Georgie reliving history etc) and a more concrete ending. I found the book to be quite predictable, but it made me laugh at times and was loaded with pop culture references that everyone can appreciate and enjoy. I’m sure that if you are a fan of Rainbow Rowell’s other work you will enjoy this one as well!