Landline by Rainbow Rowell | Review

September 24, 2014 Book Reviews 16 ★★★★½

Landline by Rainbow Rowell | ReviewLandline by Rainbow Rowell
Published by Orion on July 31st 2014
Pages: 320
Source: Publisher

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?

Countless people have told me that reading a Rainbow Rowell book was a special experience and you know what? They were right.

LANDLINE is one of those books that even now trying to come up with the words required to convey the love I have for it seems like an impossible task. But you know I like to prattle on so I shall do my best!

Landline is the story of a lady with quite possibly the most awesome name ever – Georgie McCool. Married with two kids and a pretty successful career as a screenwriter, Georgie and writing partner Seth are on the verge of their big Prime Time break. Trouble is – Christmas is just around the corner and Georgie’s long suffering husband Neal and kids are looking forward to a break in Omaha when Georgie breaks the news that she can’t go. When Neal packs himself and the kids off on a plane and leaves Georgie by herself, she realises that maybe her priorities are skewed. Staying with her mum in her old childhood home for the holidays, Georgie discovers that the old rotary phone in her bedroom is a direct line to Neal…in the past. As Georgie chats to her husband of times past she realises she has a chance to fix her marriage before it all goes wrong. Will Georgie make things right in time or is it true about the past – you really can’t go back?

Oh Landline! How much do I love thee? Let me count the ways! Landline was just a bundle of emotions for me. From the get-go as Georgie comes home from work and we witness a regular domestic scene with her husband and kids to the gut-wrenching moment she’s left alone wondering if she made the right decision, Landline evoked all the feels for me.

Georgie was such a real character, one I both sympathised and screamed at in equal measure. Caught between two worlds like so many working mothers, every effort, every mistake is tinged with guilt at never fully getting it right. As the years have passed, juggling career and home life, things inevitable start to slip and as Neal picks up the slack with his quiet and capable nature, Georgie loses sight as to what is truly important. As we follow her through the book we see her slowly come to terms with the fact that you can never take anything for granted especially other people and her last-ditch efforts to make things right. Her conversations with past Neal are tinged with the desperate sadness of a person lost in nostalgia that must now dig themselves out of their hole of mistakes and fight for what’s important.

I adored Neal but like Georgie there were times I wanted to scream at him. I could fully understand his frustrations with her but his unwillingness to voice his concerns out loud instead behaving at times in a passive aggressive way is another example of how easy it is for a relationship to devolve if both parties aren’t willing to step up to the plate and recognise their own faults.

This book teaches valuable lessons about relationships and in particular the vital need to communicate. Without it, little problems become big resentments, and even the strongest relationships can fade away into nothingness and it breaks my heart because in reality this happens every day. Rowell’s vivid and startling portrayal of marriage at its highest and lowest ebbs is a triumph and one that will not be forgotten.

Such a beautiful read with emotion seeping through every line, Landline is an eye-opening, sweet and honest look at relationships and the work it takes to succeed. Quietly heartbreaking at times yet always imbued with hope; this book is a delicately written and mesmerising story about love and one I highly recommend.



16 Responses to “Landline by Rainbow Rowell | Review”

  1. Lisa (Fic Talk)

    I have yet to read one of her books, but I like her as a person. Does that count? lol

    Glad that you enjoyed Landline since it was either a hit or miss for some.

    • Danielle

      Haha glad she’s awesome in real life too! It does seem to be a hit or a miss which is surprising for sure because I cannot fault it!

  2. Giselle

    Wonderful review, Danielle! I didn’t love this one quite as much as you did, but I did enjoy it and found it very well crafted. This was my second book by Rainbow Rowell and she’s just an incredible writer! I did like how realistic she painted the marriage and characters in this novel. For me it was Georgie who I grew impatient with at times. She was a bit selfish when it came to her co-worker (forget his name) – it was like she wanted her cake and eat it too (which I get bc what’s the point of a cake you can’t eat?? bahaha) Great review, hun! 🙂

  3. Carmel @ Rabid Reads

    I really need to get off my butt and read a Rainbow Rowell book already! All of the reviews make her writing sound sooo good. Too many authors have gotten away from working life lessons into their stories, so I like that she’s stuck with it, and tons of FEELS is always a good thing too.

  4. Jess Hearts Books

    As a huge Rainbow Rowell fan I’m so glad you enjoyed your first book by her! I’ve loved all of her books but this one is actually my least favourite. I might have to hassle you until you read Attachments I think you’ll love that one. 😛

    • Danielle

      I’ve heard this so much that this is a least fave so it makes me pumped to be honest because if I thought her weakest book was fab then I am in for a treat! Attachments sounds great and I have it on kindle so defo hassle away! 😉

  5. Melanie (YA Midnight Reads)

    I loved Rowell’s Fangirl so I’ve been really keen to read this one. I haven’t actually read or seen a negative review on this one yet which is reat promising. I love that there are underlying messages here about relationships–we need more books with messages!

    Lovely review! <33

    • Danielle

      I totally agree! Love books that have a deeper underlying theme to think about. I really need to read Fangirl, I’ve heard such good things!

  6. Leanna

    Sounds like this one was a total hit for you, doll! I have only read Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell (liked it, didn’t love it) but this one is on my list and maybe it’ll be more my style!

    • Danielle

      I’m glad I started this one because I love books that explore adult relationships, it’s refreshing after all the teen angst. I really hope you’ll enjoy this one if you get to it! 🙂

  7. Ana @ Read Me Away

    I totally agree with you, Danielle! I loved Georgie and Neal but oh boy did I want to scream at both of them sometimes. 😐 There were indeed many feelings that washed over me while I read this book. I’m so happy that the book really showed the importance of communication in a relationship, and the complexity of a relationship itself. 😀 Great review!

    • Danielle

      Yes I love how it showed the many layers to a relationship unlike other books which just add drama and then sweep it away for a HEA!

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