This post may contain affiliate links, which means I’ll receive a commission if you purchase through my links, at no extra cost to you. Please read full disclosure for more information.Landline by Rainbow Rowell
Published by St. Martin's Press on July 8, 2014
(Last Updated On: November 1, 2021)
Georgie McCool knows her marriage is in trouble; it has 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 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?
Before I picked this book up, all I knew was that so many people had read it and not liked it as much as Rainbow Rowell’s other novels. However, when I finally got around to reading it, I absolutely loved it! I thought that it wasn’t any better or worse than her other novels, because it’s on a playing field of its own. It’s an adult novel, yet it has a sort of time travel element to it, which I’m a total sucker for.
Georgie writes for a television show with her best friend Seth. The two of them met in college and have been planning their own television show ever since then, and now they finally have the chance to make their dream come true. However, the meeting is scheduled over Christmas break when Georgie was supposed to travel to Omaha with her kids and her husband Neal. Neal ends up just taking the kids to Omaha and leaving Georgie behind.
Her mom keeps nagging her to not be alone this Christmas, so she spends pretty much the whole week at her mom’s house in her old bedroom. There’s a yellow plug-in phone in her old room that she decides to use to call Neal, since she left her phone charger at her house one night. She ends up calling, only to talk to Neal from college! It’s crazy, but everytime she calls him from the yellow phone, she ends up talking to College Neal. This makes her question if she could change the path that her life took, as well as whether she really wants to change it.
I loved the time travel aspect of this book. It was cool because it wasn’t exactly time travel, though at the same time it was because Georgie could talk to Neal from the past. Seth was definitely my favorite character though, because he was her best friend. I don’t know how Neal dealt with Seth being with Georgie all the time, especially because it seemed pretty obvious that Seth had a thing for Georgie since forever.
My favorite parts of this book were probably when there were flashbacks. I loved learning about Georgie’s past and how she met Seth and Neal. The story of how she met Neal was just the cutest! I don’t want to give it away, but as a huge comic fan, I absolutely adored it. I’d highly suggest giving this one a read, as well as Rowell’s other novels.
I think I can live without you, but it won’t be any kind of life.
Wasn’t that the point of life? To find someone to share it with? And if you got that part right, how far wrong could you go? If you were standing next to the person you loved more than everything else, wasn’t everything else just scenery?
It’s more like you meet someone, and you fall in love, and you hope that that person is the one-and then at some point, you have to put down your chips. You have to make a commitment and hope that you’re right.
Neal didn’t take Georgie’s breath away. Maybe the opposite. But that was okay-that was really good, actually, to be near someone who filled your lungs with air.
Nobody’s lives just fit together. Fitting together is something you work at. It’s something you make happen-because you love each other.
You don’t know when you’re twenty-three. You don’t know what it really means to crawl into someone else’s life and stay there. You can’t see all the ways you’re going to get tangled, how you’re going to bond skin to skin. How the idea of separating will feel in five years, in ten-in fifteen. When Georgie thought about the divorce now, she imagined lying side by side with Neal on two operating tables while a team of doctors tried to unthread their vascular systems. She didn’t know at twenty-three.
Have you read this book? Leave a comment; I’d love to hear your thoughts!