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?
This is the third Rainbow Rowell book that I have read. My favourites up to now have been Eleanor and Park, and Attachments. I still have to delve into the wonders of Fan Girl, (I have heard so many good things about this coming-of-age tale of fan fiction, family and first love.) So I must add it to my TBR list.
Of course Landline was good, but it wasn’t my favourite Rainbow Rowell book. It didn’t quite have the quirkiness of the characters in Eleanor and Park, or the humour of Attachments. I’m not sure if the telephone landline really worked for me, at times it felt a little bit repetitive, the magic of the time travelling phone didn’t quite match up to my expectations.
There were a lot of aspects of the novel that I really enjoyed. At times the story line really touched my heart. Neal and Georgie’s marriage was on the rocks, and by the end of the book I really felt for these two characters and wanted them to work it out and be happy. I enjoyed the role reversal, Neal stayed at home to look after the kids while Georgie went out to pursue her career. Neal was happy with the arrangement at the beginning but nevertheless problems began to show. Neal didn’t fit in to Georgie’s world and Georgie felt left out of the perfect family group of Neal and his kids. Cracks started to show when a wonderful opportunity came up for Georgie to work on a sitcom over Christmas. She expected that Neil would agree to have Christmas in Los Angeles instead of going to Omaha, but Neal surprised her by standing his ground. He took the children with him to Omaha, without Georgie. Georgie’s life started to fall apart. Neal made matters worse by ignoring her calls, and Georgie ended up back at her Mum’s house where she used the old yellow Landline in her room to call Neal. What she actually ended up finding is a way to connect with him in the past. Will this be an opportunity to rekindle the original spark of their love, or to set things right? She started to question the way that she treated Neal, and wondered if she had been taking him for granted. She missed her children terribly, and feared that a life without them would be no life at all. I thought it interesting how she went to live with her mother, behaving like a child herself in need of the security of her family home. I enjoyed her relationship with her co-worker Seth, and her family relationships with her mother, step father and sister. Oh and the pug dogs, and the washing machine were a cute touch. You will have to read Landline to see what I mean! Rainbow Rowell’s strength in this novel is undoubtedly her ability to write about love, families and relationships in a very moving and honest way. Who knows what may have happened in life if you take another path and marry a different person? It is an interesting observation, with no real answers.
Overall I enjoyed Landline, and I would give it 3.75 stars.
My favourite quotes:
“You don’t know when you’re twenty-three.
You don’t know what it really means to crawl into someone else’s life and stay there. You can’t see all the ways you’re going to get tangled, how you’re going to bond skin to skin. How the idea of separating will feel in five years, in ten – in fifteen. When Georgie thought about divorce now, she imagined lying side by side with Neal on two operating tables while a team of doctors tried to unthread their vascular systems.
She didn’t know at twenty-three.”
“Nobody’s lives just fit together. Fitting together is something you work at. It’s something you make happen – because you love each other.”
“Having kids sent a tornado through your marriage, then made you happy for the devastation. Even if you could rebuild everything just the way it was before, you’d never want to.”
“That’s what Georgie did to him. She pulled the blood to the surface of his skin. She acted on him. Tidally. She made him feel like things were happening. Like life was happening – and even if he was miserable sometimes, he wasn’t going to sleep through it.”
“Georgie, “he said. “I love you. I love you more than I hate everything else. We’ll make our own enough – will you marry me?”
They are just such so perceptive, wonderfully thoughtful observations about love, marriage, and having kids.
I would recommend Landline to readers of Contemporary, Romance, Chick Lit, and Adult Fiction.
Have you read Landline? Do leave a comment below I’d love to hear from you.
Bye for now,
Marje @ Kyrosmagica xx