Book Review: Landline

“Neal didn’t take Georgie’s breath away. Maybe the opposite. But that was okay–that was really good, actually, to be near someone who filled your lungs with air.”
― Rainbow Rowell, Landline
Book Title: Landline
Author: Rainbow Rowell
Publication Date: 2014
Genres: Contemporary Fiction, Adult Fiction
Goodreads Rating: 3.74 Stars 
My Rating: 3.5 Stars
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 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 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?
1. Whoa. That was quick. The weather was beautiful yesterday, so I pulled out our (only) lawn chair and sat down to read. Five hours later, the sun was setting and the book was ending. Wait, what? I tore through this book!

2. Real characters. Georgie McCool (yea, that’s her name..) was not likable. She was flawed, she screwed up, and sometimes, I just wanted to slap some sense into her. Despite that, I found myself relating to her. Who doesn’t take their significant others for granted? Who doesn’t screw up from time to time? The whole novel, she struggled with defining what was important to her and figuring out what was best for her family. I liked seeing that process. Plus, Neal was pretty darn awesome, and I was cheering for them from the start.

3. A touch of magic. The biggest point of contention for me while reading this book was trying to figure out how this landline really fit into the novel. By the end of it, I saw the importance, but throughout the novel, I had trouble reconciling the “magic” of this phone with the very real lives of Georgie and Neal. I think that has more to do with my expectations going into the novel than it does with the novel itself, mostly because I was expecting a Rainbow Rowell book and she hasn’t had any fantastical happenings in any of the other novels I’ve read by her. By the end of it, though, I appreciated the magic of the landline.

Despite the magic in the landline, this novel had very real characters and wasn’t scared to present the flaws of normal human beings.
“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.”

“The future was going to happen, even if he wasn’t ready for it. Even if he was never ready for it. At least he could make sure he was with the right person. Wasn’t that the point of life? To find someone to share it with? And if you got that part right, how far wrong could you go? If you were standing next to the person you loved more than everything else, wasn’t everything else just scenery?”

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