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Landline | Rainbow Rowell | Reviewed by Ria

*image via GoodReads

Georgie McCool is at a crossroads. Two days before she’s due to fly out to Omaha with her two daughters and her husband Neal, she gets her final shot to really hit the big leagues in her television writing career. But this means her staying in L.A. over Christmas and Neal packing up the kids and leaving her all alone.

The night Neal and the girls leave, she discovers the old yellow rotary phone in her childhood bedroom somehow allow her to communicate with Neal from the past.

Suddenly she’s faced with the ultimate dilemma. Try to fix her marriage before it goes into meltdown or try and stop Neal from ever marrying her in the first place.

What’s my verdict?

First things first, in the words of Rainbow Rowell ‘It’s a magic phone get over’. Once you’re past this one little plot point you can work your way into this wonderful little book. What drives the plot (and is weaved in with the supernatural/Notebook-esque magical phone element) is Georgie’s dilemma on whether to change the course of her’s and Neal’s life before they even go on this journey. And like all of Rowell’s novels this means placing the entire focus on the nature of human relationships.

Landline, as a novel, showcases the highs and lows of a couple in love right from the moment Georgie and Neal meet, to the first sparks of their relationship, to their marriage and happy ending honeymoon period. But unlike a lot of contemporary romance novels we get to see past this initial period of bliss and into the slightly uglier side of the post-honeymoon slump. Rowell manages to capture every bitter details and euphoric high of their love not only through the conversations between Georgie and past-Neal but Georgie’s inner monologue.

I could find myself getting frustrated at Neal seemingly unbounded patience when dealing with Georgie’s selfish-ness and constant let downs. Georgie herself is also a deeply flawed character, but what I really liked was her self-awareness of that fact.

And it’s not just Georgie and Neal’s relationship on display, we also see how Georgie interacts with the rest of her family and her close writing partner/best friend, Seth. The dynamic between herself, Neal and Seth are particularly interesting, and I’m grateful Rowell didn’t take it down what I though would be a very typical Hollywood route of an affair.

What I really liked the most about Landline was that it played out like a rom-com movie, complete with Georgie and Neal’s version of a happy ending. Though I did find the actual phone conversations less engaging than the flashbacks, all in all the plot and seeing this more realistic side of married life was really great. And the best bit about reading this at this time of year is that it’s set during the week leading up to Christmas, making it a perfect festive read!

Starts With Goodbye: Carrie Underwood; I Wouldn’t Mind: He Is We; Not Over You: Gavin Degraw; How Long Will I Love You: Ellie Goulding; Tenerife Sea: Ed Sheeran; Always Starting Over: Idina Menzel; This Love: Taylor Swift

For lovers of…Attachments (Rainbow Rowell), The Time Traveller's Wife, and Nicholas Sparks.

This post was written by regular reviewer Ria, get to know her here.

1 comment

  1. Argh! I need to read this! This is the only book of Rainbow Rowell's I don't have...but I did get book vouchers for Christmas, so...


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