Published by Orion on July 31, 2014
Genres: Chick Lit, Contemporary, Romance
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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?
Oh, I hate being the black sheep. And I love Rainbow Rowell’s writing, so that makes it all the more disappointing.
Landline explores the issues of a marriage after years of being together. Most romance books are about falling in love, finding your soul mate and a happily ever after. Landline goes beyond that and tells us about the unhappiness and dullness that a couple faces after being together for almost 17 years. It’s not about gestures and romance anymore, it’s simply about trying to communicate your problems with each other, and remembering why you got together in the first place, which is what Georgie does.
If this were a movie, it wouldn’t be random. A random call to a random point in the past. It would mean something. So what did this mean?
Magical realism is something that never sits well with me, if only for the disbelief that you have to suspend while reading about strange magical occurrences that happen in real life. More often than not, why this occurs is never explained, or it doesn’t fit well with the story. That’s part of why Landline wasn’t for me, because Georgie talks to her husband from 17 years ago through a magical phone and we never get answers as to why or how. Even Georgie herself thinks she’s going crazy, but after questioning it herself, she just went with it.
Another reason why Landline wasn’t for me, was because I didn’t like Neal. He was cool, calm and collected, and expressed his dissatisfaction with Georgie’s actions in a passive aggressive way – which drives me insane. Even while Georgie was falling in love with him, it seemed like she did all the work and I never really felt like he was anything special. He storms off with their kids to spend Christmas with his parents, and doesn’t call Georgie throughout the entire novel, despite her leaving endless messages to him. This was never really resolved, I know if it was me I would be really angry. I did admire how Neal wasn’t the typical romance hunk which is always unrealistic; Rainbow Rowell’s males are always flawed in some way.
“Just because you love someone…that doesn’t mean your lives with fit together.” – Georgie
“Nobody’s lives just fit together…Fitting together is something you work at. It’s something you make happen – because you love each other.” – Neal
I shipped the best friend, Seth, with Georgie, because at least he seemed to be there when she needed her. And even though life doesn’t always work out the way we wanted it to, it kind of made us think of what if.
Landline ends on a somewhat sudden note that left me thinking – was that all? So many unresolved thoughts and feelings, and actions. I know the message that the author was trying to achieve – that perfection doesn’t happen and that things are never going to resolve yourself if you never try or communicate – but I wanted answers.
Landline will take us through a journey of rediscovering a marriage after things go sour. It’s a thought provoking read about life and relationships in general, however, the magical realism, the husband I couldn’t relate to and the unresolved answers made it fall flat for me.
Rating: 2.5 out of 5
Thank you to Hachette Australia for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review.
Giveaway – Australians only
I’m giving away a paperback of Landline to a lucky Australian reader! Fill in the rafflecopter form below to enter.
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