Landline (Rainbow Rowell)

>>>>  Nº 16 on My 2015 Reading Challenge – A book from an author you love but haven’t read yet <<<<


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?

I was putting off reading this book for 2 reasons. The first was in case I needed a palate cleanser, that is, in case I read a book I did not like, and needed writing that I was sure I was going to like to follow it. The second reason was because I was afraid I wasn’t going to enjoy it as much as the other 3 Rainbow Rowell’s books, given that Landline is the one with the lowest ratings…

But after I read Girl Online, I desperately needed my Rainbow Rowell dose, and will all of her 3 other books already at home in Portugal, I picked up Landline. And it turns out, I shouldn’t have worried at all, because Rainbow Rowell is a genius.

I really liked this book – yes, it’s definitely my least favorite of the 4, but it’s still pretty damn good! It worked for me. I really liked the characters, as I always do, because Rainbow writes real characters. These are deeply flawed people, but they feel real. I really liked Georgie and Neal, and I could see why she loved him so damn much and wasn’t willing to let go.

The writing is wonderfully tricky. Rowell always has something in her books that set them apart, here I would say it’s the different times. We have the present, then we have now-Georgie talking to 1998-Neal, and then we have all her memories that spam from when they met to long after they were married. It’s a lot to take in, but it gave me a real notion of their relationship and I thought it was wonderfully made.

This next sentence might be a bit SPOILERY

The only “problem” I had with this book is how nothing is really resolved. Again, Rowell does that quite a lot – we never learn the 3 words that Eleanor writes to Park, we don’t know if Cath finishes Carry On. But here, truly, nothing is resolved. After a few days agonizing over the fact that Neal might have left her, and of her talking to 1998-Neal into somehow proposing to her in the past, Georgie manages to go to Omaha and the two of them are passionately reunited. But their problems remain, though she vows to take his feeling into account, we don’t know what happens next. “Does she and Seth get another opportunity to present the episodes? Can she manage Seth after what he told her? Can Neal really come back? What will Neal do after Noomi is off to school? Is Georgie paying more attention to him? Do they keep the dog?”...

I have more, but mainly, WTF allowed for the backwards communication? Was it really a magic phone? WHAT?! But maybe it just adds to the goodness that is this book…

Rating: 4.2 Stars