by Rainbow Rowell
Summary: 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?
Source: I purchased a hardcover
After enjoying Carry On so much, I decided to immediately pick up Landline since I had a bargain priced copy on my shelf. The Rainbow Rowell craze took over not too long ago, but has mainly been centered on Fangirl and Eleanor and Park, two books that don’t really seem like something I’d like, so I decided to test the waters and see what the fuss was about with the less popular books and it’s working well so far.
Landline was great. I enjoyed it! It was contemporary and partly quirky, but mostly with a level of nostalgia and heaviness that worked well together. It wasn’t YA, either, which was nice. Georgie was married to Neal with two children. They lived in California where she worked as a comedy writer with her best friend, Seth. Instead of visiting Omaha for Christmas, Georgie had an opportunity come up to work with someone about a show she’d been trying to create.
Basically, a few things were clear. Georgie and Neal were married, he stayed home with the kids, he hated California, and Georgie held onto a lot of guilt. She knew she would be ruining something by saying no to Omaha, but she never imagined he’d go without her and it put her in a weird place. Her family acted like he was leaving her for good, and it brought back memories about the time he really did leave her during Christmas before he proposed. He wasn’t picking up his cell phone. So she tried his mom’s number, the landline, from the phone in her own mother’s home and it coincidently allowed her to speak to the Neal in the past that left her years ago during the same time period.
I liked the characters and I enjoyed seeing Georgie’s story unfold. Sometimes, it takes a bit of reflection to realize that you’re taking something for granted when you’re just going through the motions and that was really what the book was about. It was about connecting with family and being present in your life. I enjoyed the flashbacks to Georgie and Neal meeting and dating. I felt her anguish about being away from her husband, but as she said many times, sometimes love wasn’t enough. What if two people just aren’t compatible no matter how much they love each other?
The book seems to have mixed reviews, but I wonder if that’s because people who love her YA and maybe are in that age group picked this up and just don’t connect with it as well as I did. I remember landlines, I remember the 90’s, the type of comics and comedy that were around, and I felt like there was a bit of nostalgia there that I could connect with.
I definitely recommend Landline, especially if you’re in the mood for a light read that also has a been of seriousness to it. I highly enjoyed it.