Author: Rainbow Rowell
Length: 9 hours
Narrator: Rebecca Lowman
Original Publication Date: 2008
Genre(s): Adult fiction, Contemporary
When Georgie decides to stay in LA to work during Christmas, instead of flying to Omaha with her husband Neil and 2 kids, it seems like her marriage is over. Neil wont return any of Georgie’s calls, until she starts calling from her mom’s landline. But then, the Neil that answers isn’t her Neil—this Neil is way back in 1998, back when they had their first and only breakup. Right before Neil proposed to Georgie. With her magic yellow phone, Georgie believes she’s been given a chance to save her marriage to current-Neil, and the key to that is past-Neil. But what if, instead, Georgie ruins everything? What if they never end up getting married at all?
Rainbow Rowell is that author I looooove but always forget that I love. Eleanor & Park was my first and favorite, then I fell for Fangirl, and I assumed that love would continue into Landline; however, Landline was really hard to get into.
Told in third-person POV, Landline follows Georgie during a time when she’s never felt so alone. She chose work over her family—she always chooses work over family—and this time, she thinks it was the last nail in the coffin of her marriage to Neil. He won’t return any of her calls, and every time one of her daughters pick up, Neil is always off somewhere else. A little suspicious, yes? So then Georgie finds this weird way to communicate with past-Neil, and the bounds of space and time are broken, and she most likely messes everything up while trying to save that which she holds closest to her heart.
At first, I really hated Georgie. And Neil. You don’t get much introduction to Neil before he’s flying off to Omaha and ignoring his wife, who keeps calling but never gets a call back. Then I start to understand Georgie a little more. I didn’t relate to her much, but I definitely understood her. Most of what you learn about Neil comes from Georgie’s conversations with past-Neil, who was okay-ish, but still kind of a dick.
Rainbow Rowell is a truly great writer. Her writing is what makes her novels so unique, rather than the storylines. What I love most about her is that she writes about relationships so perfectly that I feel like, when reading, I’m spying on intimate moments between two lovers. That’s weird, I know. But the way she writes about love gives me the warm fuzzies. And yes, I had that when reading about Georgie and Neil. I loved their love, but only because Rowell is so good at writing about love. In fact, by the end of the novel, I didn’t mind Georgie and barely tolerated Neil, but enjoyed reading about their relationship.
So, though the story wasn’t that interesting and the characters not very likable, I still found a way to enjoy the novel. It’s definitely my least favorite Rowell novel so far, but I didn’t hate it. I really liked Georgie’s sister, Heather, and the side-event towards the end with the dogs and the pizza deliverer was probably my favorite part of the whole novel.
What really bugged me is how…simplistic the story was. Throughout the story, I kept thinking, “oh, I know exactly how this is going to end,” with some crazy thoughts and plot twists I was for sure would occur, but instead, none of my ideas actually happened. I felt like Rowell could have taken this a few different ways, but didn’t. And that’s not a bad thing, just something I didn’t expect.
It was a good read, but if you want to experience Rowell’s best, I recommend Eleanor & Park or Fangirl. Hoping to read Carry On soon!
–“I love you more than I hate everything else.”
—“It’s more like you meet someone, and you fall in love, and you hope that that person is the one—and then at some point, you have to put down your chips. You just have to make a commitment and hope that you’re right.”
—“I think I can live without you, but it won’t be any kind of life.”