Review: Landline

Title: Landline 18081809

Author: Rainbow Rowell


Provided 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 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?

Review: As soon as I finished this book I was left to wonder what the point of all of this was. Landline is the story of Georgie McCool, a television writer who makes the decision to stay in LA to work on scripts for a new show rather than travel to Omaha for Christmas with her husband and their two daughters. Things between the married couple had been rocky for a while, therefore Georgie’s family is forced to think the worse when they hear the news: they think Neal has left Georgie and continue to tell her so throughout the days that follow. Unable to focus on her work due to the separation from her family, Georgie reflects back on her relationship with Neal and the one other time Neal had left her to return to Omaha. Perhaps it is because of these thoughts that Georgie is somehow able to speak to the Neal of 1998 over the landline telephone.

To be honest, this book was a waste of time. Georgie was all over the place with her emotions and thoughts; despite all of the reflection on the relationship and her role in the deterioration of things it is unclear if she will even bother to change. The story ends with an abruptness that only highlighted even more that there was no point to this tale at all. Nothing was solved. As for the power of the landline phone…the question is never even answered as to whether or not it was the work of magic or something else. Nor is a reason ever given as to why Neal does not answer his cell phone, or why Georgie’s cell phone is useless, or the legitimacy of conversations that might have never taken place in hindsight. If there was a higher metaphorical message behind this book then it was completely lost on me, and I would not be surprised if it is lost on others as well.

Not the best book by this author; probably the worst one I have read so far. I would not recommend.


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