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Wednesday, July 16, 2014

My Thoughts: Landline by Rainbow Rowell

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?

**Review copy received from publisher**

I was both excited and nervous about Rainbow Rowell's newest venture, Landline. I absolutely adored Fangirl, but wasn't so sure about Eleanor and Park. Therefore, my feelings on Landline could have gone either way. However, I had pretty high hopes, and after reading this novel, I am pretty sure that Rainbow Rowell is quickly becoming one of me favourite authors.

Landline tells that story of Gerogie and her husband Neal. They have been married a while, had a couple kids and now, Neal is a stay at home Dad, and Georgie is a comedy television show writer, on the brink of launching her very own series. It is because of this potential big break, that Georgie is home in LA during Christmas, while Neal and her daughters are away in Omaha with Neal's mother. A point of contention for Neal. Another small issue between Neal and Georgie, is Georgie's (platonic) relationship with her writing partner, Seth. It is while Neal and the kids are away, that Georgie discovers  a rotary phone that allows her to talk to the Neal of 1998, and gain new perspective on her marriage her life at the moment and where she wants to be.

Rainbow Rowell really knows how to write flawed characters that are easy to relate to, but at the same time, her characters are completely likeable. I loved Georgie! She was an interesting character. On one hand, she was kind of selfish: she worked constantly, and made herself available to work all the time, while her husband made all the sacrifices for his family. Also, Georgie didn't seem to limit the amount of time she spent with Seth, her best friend and writing partner (who Neal cannot stand). In saying all of this, Georgie knows she is being selfish, and she is very grateful to her husband and loves him very much- she would have these pseudo panic attacks when she thought of her life without him. But, she wasn't making any changes to accommodate Neal in any way. I know I am making Georgie sound like a tool, but she wasn't. Her inner dialogue was really enlightening, and you can't help but adore her. She is so in love with Neal, and is aware that, maybe, he is unhappy, but she wasn't sure how and what to change to encourage him, and whether he would even accept any of her attempts. In short, Georgie is conflicted.

For the most part, this is Georgie's story. It's her battling guilt and confusion. It is her being indecisive and nostalgic. There are so many emotions circling Georgie.

Let's talk about how great of a writer Rainbow Rowell is. She's amazing. She has this fantastic ability to create stories that are fun and entertaining, that appear light hearted and breezy, I mean, Landline involves a yellow rotary phone and time travel.  However, these stories also have deeper themes that require a bit of emotional stamina. There are some real issues that Georgie and Neal need to work through, there are some life changes that need to happen. And you don't know if everything is going to work out.

Overall, Landline was great. I loved it. f you have enjoyed Rainbow's previous novels, you are sure to enjoy Landlines.

~Happy Reading Everyone!


  1. I loved this book. And you're right, as flawed as Georgie was, I still loved her, because it felt like it was a realistic personality flaw.

    Great review!

  2. I loved Fangirl too but didn't really like Eleanor and Park so I'm glad you mentioned that you had similar feelings as me on Rowell's previous books. Although the characters in this one are older, I like the sound of it. How awesome would it be to be able to talk to people from your past now being older and wiser? Even better, I'd love to talk to past me and see the changes I've gone through.

  3. Ohhh yes! *happy sigh* --> Rainbow Rowell novels do that to you. I enjoyed reading your Landline review so much that I can't wait to read it myself. I really liked Fangirl and Attachments. You need to read Attachments, promise me? ;)

  4. Well, I was going to say that adult contemporary is even more outside my comfort zone than usual until you mentioned a magic landline and time travel - I somehow had no other what this one was really about until just now reading your review. Maybe I could dig it more now, haha.

    But I honestly feel like I would have probably liked this one anyway even if it had been a completely non-magical contemporary because I just adore Rainbow Rowell's writing and her characterization as well. Besides, the characters and themes of this one sound so realistic that it might as well be just characterized as a contemporary. Loved reading your thoughts here, Sara - I'll have to get to this one (and also Attachments) sometime!


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