Book Review: “Landline” by Rainbow Rowell

***Warning: This review contains spoilers. If you wish to not know what goes on throughout this book, read the synopsis and don’t read any other part of this review.***

Synopsis:

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?”

Characters:

Georgie: writer for a tv show, main protagonist, wife of Neal, best friend of Seth

Neal: A stay at home dad, husband of Georgie

Seth: best friend of Georgie, writer of a tv show

Heather: Georgie’s sister, someone whom Georgie grows closer to and ends up being a sort of emotional sounding board for.

Plot:

The story starts out with Georgie telling her husband that she can’t go with him and their two girls to Omaha for Christmas because she has to write a script for her new tv show. He leaves with their daughters and then she starts to wonder if that meant he was leaving her and their marriage was done. She can’t ever get him on the phone, and she ends up staying with her mom.

She decides to call him on her old, yellow landline and it turns out that she has called Neal’s past self. The one from 1998. [signal dramatic gasps] Just as a side note, her character really was getting on my nerves. She just wasn’t thinking clearly. She was putting her entire marriage and family on the line for a tv show. I just wanted to shake her, pack her suitcase, and ship her off to Omaha.

So she ends up talking to past Neal like every night for hours on end. Those conversations gave me life, and I really enjoyed reading the flashbacks to her relationship with Neal. They may have seemed out of nowhere at times, but once I got used to them, it really just made the story even more appealing. So one night she finally comes to the conclusion that (after a fight with past Neal, in which she left the phone off of the hook so that he couldn’t call her back) the reason Neal drove all night without stopping Christmas Eve of 1998 to propose to her was because of this conversation between her 2013 self and his 1998 self.

I know. If I think about it too much, my brain will start to hurt. So she finally gets her shit together and decides to go to Omaha to save her marriage (before she gets in the car, Seth arrives, saying that maybe the reason all of this happened was because they should have ended up together; don’t even get me started on that drama) and she does get there after a few delayed flights and a hike through a blizzard.

She gets there, he pretty much forgives her, and they kiss and he cuddles her when she is cold from snow. It was a pretty cheesy, but well-deserved, happy ending.

My Thoughts:

This book really made me depressed at times, but also made me happy at times. I unashamedly pictured Georgie as Rainbow Rowell. Literally. This was my first adult novel, and I really enjoyed it. It was pretty easy and fast to get through, just like all of Rainbow’s other novels. I have never read something of hers that I didn’t love. I couldn’t connect to the characters, but that is just because I am a young adult. A great novel, and I recommend it to those who like cute but depressing (at times) adult novels.

8
4.5/5 hearts

Love You All to Luna and Back,

Allie

 

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