Genre: Adult, Romance
Publication date: July 8th 2014
by St. Martin's Press
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?
-A copy was provided by St. Martin's Press for review-
Landline is different from what I expected: first of all it’s an adult book which I only realized when I started it, but this is totally my fault and also not a bad thing. I was due for an adult book. And, unlike her usual contemporary reads, this one has a bit of a paranormal vibe to it. I’m not sure how I felt about this at first, I loved the mind-f*ck nature of it, but it has an element that very rarely impresses me
What I know from Rainbow Rowell is that she knows how to craft realistic and wonderfully flawed characters, who are so easy to connect and relate to. Georgie’s marriage is crumbling, and she feels as if she’s losing it all – even her mind. Through flashbacks along with Georgie’s independent and determined personality, we get to see her fall in love. Not just with her now husband, but also with her best friend and career. We got to see what led her to choose this life for herself. How happy she was back then, and how life got in the way since. Even though she’s not always especially likeable, she has this effortless narrative voice, peppered with humour, that makes it easy to fly through the pages.
Aside from Georgie, every single secondary character is painted with such memorable qualities. Her sister, Heather, and her best friend Seth, quickly became my favorites. The latter for his sarcasm and liveliness, the former for her fun-loving personality and sisterly devotion. Even the smallest of roles – like the pizza delivery person and Neal’s mother – felt authentic and added to the overall charm of the story.
This is a romance through and through. It’s about a woman who needs to make a though decision to save her marriage. It’s a story that so many will be able to relate to. Juggling between a career and home life is never easy and, often, sacrifices need to be made, and dreams are not achieved. In the end, despite the “perfect” ending, I was left feeling uncertain towards the lasting quality of their relationship. I’m not even 100% sure I was rooting for them all along, to be honest. I definitely don’t agree with every decision Georgie did – she can be selfish, especially when it comes to her relationship with Seth, but Rowell does make us understand why it’s hard for her to let go.
This book touches on love and family, but also on guilt and self-worth. It’s a novel that paints realistic relationships, not idealistic ones. Because in reality, romance is rarely idealistic, and with many things in life, it’s only worth as much as the effort you put in.