Friday, August 21, 2015
Landline by Rainbow Rowell | Book Review
AUTHOR: Rainbow Rowell
PUBLISHER/YEAR: St. Martin's Press / 2014
Goodreads / Author's Website
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?
Thoughts and Reactions
I was afraid to read Landline. I was afraid for months. I loved Eleanor & Park and Fangirl spoke to me, but what if all this Rainbow Rowell love went away when I read an adult novel that dealt with marriage and children and all those big, scary, grown up things. So I put it off... for a really long time. Then, one fateful day I was browsing my local bookstore and saw that they had one copy left and it was on sale and nothing else was screaming buy me so I left with a copy. You guys, it was such a good decision and I have no idea why these adult topics scared me so much. I love Rowell's writing and her characterizations and that didn't change; she still creates smart, funny characters and relationships that just make sense.
Georgie McCool (don't you just love the name) lover her husband Neal and family, but has always put work first. She's a comedy writer and the hours are crazy, the people are crazy, but she loves her job. When she chooses to stay at home in L.A. over Christmas instead of travelling to Omaha with her famaily it seems like it could be the last straw for her marriage. Totally distraught, she tries calling Neal on her childhood bedroom's phone and reaches the Neal from 1994, the young, pre-marriage, pre-kids, pre-everything Neal and she has to figure out what to do with her past while everything is seemingly crumbling in her present.
I loved Georgie; I understood Georgie. We work in very similar fields and while I most definitely do not have a husband or children I can almost understand that pull in two different directions. There's the you who has put everything into your career, who's struggled for so long and wants to be the best and the you who loves and cares about your partner and wants to see them equally as happy and fulfilled. I may have read this book at the right time, personally. She was obviously torn and I understood that and I like to think that even if I wasn't relating to the character so much her characterization would stand on its own.
I also really loved the relationship between Georgie and Neal. Flashbacks are mixed in with the present day to show how their relationship evolved and they added so much to the story. Yes, their marriage is currently strained, but you can understand them and how they got to that point. Plus, I think some of the flashback scenes are just really cute. I also just loved the description of the 90s. These two people are clearly in pain and hurting each other at the moment, but somehow I could still sense the love and was rooting for them to work it out the whole time.
I adored this book. I loved the characters; I loved the relationships. Even the friendships, which were at times a little...line crossing, felt real and developed. The magic phone is less realistic, but I love things like that; I have a weakness for any and all time travel. Sure it's never explained, but I didn't care. The relationships and characters drove the story and the time travel was just a nice addition on the side. I really should just go with my gut and read everything and anything Rainbow Rowell writes.