Book Review Project – Landline

I picked Rainbow Rowell’s Landline to review for this assignment because I adore the way she writes. Her characters are always extremely relatable and well-written. I’ve read a number of her works and happened to have one book of her that hadn’t read just lying around, thus becoming my book to review. I fell in love with this novel, just like every other Rowell novel that I have read. Landline is about love, marriage and learning how to make it work. It lets us into the marriage of Georgie and Neal, allowing us to explore the concepts of give and take and when to realize that your are taking more than you are giving. Its a fun quirky commentary of married life and fate that really hits home.  It’s set in the week leading up to Christmas and follows her journey of personal growth.

“There’s a magic phone in my childhood bedroom. I can use it to call husband in the past. (My husband who isn’t my husband yet. My husband who maybe shouldn’t be my husband at all.)

There’s a magic phone in my childhood bedroom. I unplugged it this morning and hid it in the closet. Maybe all the phones in the house are magic.

Or maybe I’m magic. Temporarily magic (HA! Time travel pun!) Does it count as time travel? If it’s just my voice traveling?

There’s a magic phone hidden in my closet. And I think it’s connected to the past. And I think I’m supposed to fix something. I think I’m supposed to make something right.” (Rowell, 139)

Georgie McCool is a wife, a mother and a comedy writer. She’s been working towards her own sitcom with her best friend,Jeff, for years. But when opportunity comes knocking at an inopportune time, she has to make a decision that throws her family into turmoil. Just days before Christmas, Georgie is now separated from her family as they travel to Omaha for the holidays. Georgie, left behind in California with no explanation from her husband and a family that thinks he’s left her, she strives to finish her work before the deadline and ultimately win her dream show. But when her husband becomes more and more unwilling to answer Georgie’s calls, she starts to wonder if he really did leave her. Not wanting to return to her empty house, she visits her mother and decides again to try to call her husband. Because her cellphone is chronically dead, she opts to use her old yellow landline. She quickly discovers that the Neal on the end of the line is not her husband…yet. Somehow the phone connects to the Neal she knew before they were married, the Neal from 1998 that was going to propose on Christmas of that year.  Like any normal person would be she’s shocked at first but then realizes that maybe she’s suppose to fix something. This moment of realization triggers Georgie to take an intense look at their relationship. She decides that it’s time for her to give a little more and makes a grand gesture that she hopes will help save her marriage.

As I mentioned above, my favorite thing about Rowell’s novels are the characters. She writes characters that feel like old friends, comforting and familiar, but still quirky enough to keep you guessing.Her female protagonists are relatable without being so to a fault. Georgie is well-rounded, flawed and she has to face these things and grow. She also does a good job of writing relationships at different levels. In landline, the reader gets a very frank view of married life. The ups and downs of it and the consequence of taking more than your are giving.

I think others will like this book because they feature a number of quirky, well-rounded characters that they can relate to. These characters like people you know and she writes them into existence effortlessly. I haven’t read a book by Rowell that hasn’t warmed my heart or brought me to tears at some point. Every character that she’s written allow you to relate to them in a different way.  I think that readers will enjoy her unique characters, the funny dialogue and the wickedly relatable retrospective journey that the main character takes in this novel.

Landline

Rainbow Rowell

310 pages

St. Martin’s Press

$24.99 USD

 

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