Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Book Review: Landline, by Rainbow Rowell

Options:
1. Call doctor (End up on drugs? Possibly institutionalized ... Would at least earn Neal's pity.)
2. Consult psychic. (Pros: Very romantic-comedy. Cons: Sounds time-intensive; have always disliked strangers' living rooms.)
3. Pretend this never happened. Just have to avoid yellow phone, apparently ... 
4. Destroy yellow phone? (Conduit to the past too dangerous to allow. Nightmare scenarios possible, i.e., what if Marty McFly's dad doesn't take his mom to the prom?)
5. CHRIST ALMIGHTY. I DO NOT HAVE A CONDUIT TO THE PAST.
6. Call doctor?
7.
7.
7. Keep playing along?

Full disclosure, I love Rainbow Rowell's books (Attachments, Eleanor & Park, and Fangirl), and have even tweeted with her a few times (she's very nice). When I saw that she had a new book out, I contacted the publisher and was luckily able to get an advance copy to read. Rowell's latest installment is a bit different than her previous three, but still just as great.

Official synopsis:
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 beside the point now.

Maybe that was always beside 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?


Fangirl, Rowell's most recent, and Eleanor & Park were YA (Young Adult) books, and with Landline, Rowell returns to writing for adults. This definitely doesn't make the book any less hilarious (see the excerpt I chose, at top), and Rowell always has a strong voice as well as a strong writing style.

This novel was very interesting - it poses the "what if" question, in that "what if" you were able to NOT go back in time, but able to CONTACT someone in the past? Georgie has been having problems with her husband, and due to work she's stuck in L.A. for Christmas while he takes their little girls to Omaha. One day she calls his house there on their landline phone, and eventually figures out she's talking to a version of Neil that existed before they were engaged - 20+ years ago. 

Georgie feels a little strange about this since he doesn't know he's talking to present-day Georgie, but she misses talking to present-day Neil - who won't return her phone calls - and goes with it. 

What follows is an interesting look at marriage, motherhood, and the choices we make - and if we would make those choices again in life, if we had a second chance. 

4 stars out of 5.

To purchase Landline, click here.

Disclosure: I received a copy of this novel for reviewing purposes. The opinions expressed here, however, are my own.

11 comments:

  1. Sounds intriguing but if they never married what would happen to the kids?

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    1. Right, that's what I was wondering! Among other things.

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  2. That is interesting - I am intruiged

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  3. Now that is a unique plot. I don't know what I would do in that situation either, but I'm curious to read what happens.

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  4. Hmmm, I like these types of stories, they make me think about my own decisions and feel blessed by the lessons I've learned. Looks like a good read.

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  5. That's a really different plot and I would give the story a try based on your review.

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  6. Seems very interesting and like it would make me think while reading....might have to check it out.

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  7. I enjoyed this book too. Great review!

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  8. Thank you. Very interesting book.

    I have wanted to read this book.

    I would never have guessed about the inside from the cover. :)

    Thanks for sharing.

    Stopping by from Carole's Books You Loved September Edition. I am in the list as #27.

    My book entry is below.

    Elizabeth
    Silver's Reviews
    My Book Entry

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  9. Thanks for your review! I haven't read this book yet, but will need to add to my ever growing wishlist!!

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