Ohhh Rainbow Rowell.
Landline is her newest novel, and I was particularly looking forward to it because she hasn’t had an adult (as in, the characters are adults, not as in XXX adult, of course) novel out since Attachments, which is still my favorite of hers. So Landline is about Georgie McCool (OMG best last name ever) and her marriage to Neal. They’ve been together for years, and have two adorable little girls, but their marriage has been strained. It becomes even more so when Georgie has an important work-thing come up and has to stay home to work for the week of Christmas, while Neal takes the girls to his mom’s house in Nebraska. Georgie worries incessantly, and eventually finds that by calling on her old yellow landline phone, she’s able to talk to Neal in the past, before they got married. Is this the tool she needs to fix everything?
Alright guys, I’m going to be the downer here and say that this is my least favorite Rowell so far. That doesn’t mean that it’s bad. In fact, I read the whole book in a day and there were many quotable lines that I marked as I read, and I enjoyed it.
I have two main things that I think keep me from really loving Landline though. One being that I just don’t think the characters were as well fleshed-out as Rowell’s characters usually are. Georgie and Neal are still kind of hard for me to picture, and I feel like I didn’t quite get to know them. I was TOLD a lot that Georgie is really funny (hence her job as a writer for a sitcom), but I wasn’t ever really shown her being funny. You get little flashbacks of her and Neal falling in love, but it still wasn’t quite obvious to me what about Neal made her fall in love with him. I’m probably the only one who had this issue, but that’s just how it was. I can’t picture Georgie and Neal as well as I can picture Lincoln and Beth from Attachments, and I read that years ago.
My other main thing was that I think the situation in this novel wasn’t something I could really relate to very well. And I KNOW that’s a me-issue. I have no desire for a career, so it was kind of hard to relate to this person who is so invested in her job that her marriage is suffering. I can’t imagine a job ever being more important (or equally important) as my husband is. Your spouse is the person who you’re supposed to be old and wrinkly with when everything else in life (work, kids) is done with. Why would you put anything else before that? Family comes first. I was still rooting for Georgie the whole way, but it was a conflict that I had a hard time wrapping my head around, even though I know it’s a frequent issue in relationships.
Anyways, this book was still good, and Rowell is still one of those authors that will make me run out to a bookstore the day her newest book is being released to grab it. And now, here are a couple of my favorite quotes:
“You shouldn’t have to make anybody like you, Georgie. You should want to be with somebody who can’t help but like you.”
” – she still wasn’t better off without him. (Even if your heart is broken and attacking you, you’re still not better off without it.)”
Sarah Says: 3.5 stars