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? – Goodreads
This book means a lot to me, and I’m not even married. That is how much I related to it. This book will always be the book that I annoyed Macmillan Libary with at ALAMW and they didn’t care. I will always look at this and remember bonding with my (at the time) new friend Katie (on the left), Rainbow in the middle, and me on the right. Photo taken by my (once again, new at the time) friend Margaret, while Rainbow was in the middle of AWESOME! NEWS! Margaret and Katie are now FRIENDS! I talk to daily! All because of this book!
But Landline is more than that. Landline is Rainbow Rowell’s fourth novel and it is one of her best, in my opinion, and I’ve read them all. Landline is the story of Georgie who has been married for 15 years and is comfortable in her marriage, she knows it isn’t perfect but it’s comfortable and that’s all right, isn’t it? What’s awesome is while I was at ALAMW, in Philadelphia, I was able to hear Rainbow talk about her book while she did at talk at a local indie. And it was lovely, particularly when she kept going “I swear my marriage is in a good place!” Which is awesome to hear, particularly months later, when I read this and my heart went out to Georgie, consistently. She’s a good person whose life just wandered without her paying attention.
Then one day, after her family leaves for vacation without her she realizes what a mistake has been made. Being complacent in life. Being happy, but not working as hard as she should. I never once judged Georgie. While I’ve never been married and I have no interest in being married, I got it. (Need to point out, my parents are happily married for 30+ years. They are not my reason for my lack of interest in marriage! See photo to the left. Is that not happiness!?)
Georgie, during a depression she enters when her family leaves her for Nebraska, decides to go home. To her mom’s. And when she can’t get her cellphone to work, she plugs in her old landline and calls her husband. And talks to Neal. Neal from 1998, not Neal from 2013. But she’s still in 2013. How does this work?
What’s important to point out is that Rowell makes it work. She makes it work beautifully. Almost painfully. Because if it didn’t work, this whole book would easily be kitchy and corny and it wasn’t. It was painful, and heartbreaking and beautiful. I devoured Landline in an afternoon and when I finished the last page I wanted more because I was so invested in these characters and what has become of them by the end.