I now blog over at The Eyre Guide! This blog is an archive of my past posts.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Review: Landline

Posted by Charlene // Tags: , ,
by Rainbow Rowell
Contemporary fiction
Amazon  /  Goodreads

Plot Summary:

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?


There's something about Rainbow's writing that keeps me reading even if I pretty much know what must happen.  There's a predictable aspect to this story, but the journey is more important, and the way Rainbow gets you there is so engaging.  Her characters are always the most adorable people you'd ever want to meet, so getting to know them is the highlight of her books.  This book explores a mature perspective on marriage and love with a complicated relationship between Georgie and Neal.  I love how complex the balance of their relationship is.  It seems like in books, if a marriage is in trouble there's an obvious aspect to why there's a problem, but Georgie and Neal's issues are much more subtle and it's so easy to feel that their problems are relatable to everyone.  Especially if ambition or work gets in the way of doing what you really want to do.  Because of this, I had an extra level of sympathy with the characters because they could so easily be me.  And again that's another reason to love Rainbow's characters.

The story is a very personal examination of these characters' lives, with the bonus of wit and humor and a interesting perspective on Georgie and Neal's relationship from the beginning.  The way the author brings these two sides of the same character together was amazing!  Young and old versions seem the same and yet they have grown and are so completely realistic.  I love how the backstories and the present are intertwined.

It's the characters that really made this book an exceptionally compelling read.  There are so many wonderful moments between them - that really celebrate the beauty and variety of relationships, and also feels so real and grounded - I'm simultaneously relating to these people and wishing some of their awesomeness would rub off on me.  This story takes place around Christmas, and I think that feeling of Christmas pervades throughout - with the importance of family and love.  This is a lovely and heart-warming read!

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