Published by Orion on July 31st 2014
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.