Review: Landline by Rainbow Rowell

landlineTitle: Landline

Author: Rainbow Rowell

Series: N/A

Genre: Romance

Summary (from Goodreads)

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

I think I need to invest in Rainbow Rowell’s entire back catalogue.

After really enjoying Eleanor and Park, I jumped at the chance to read Rowell’s latest. And I wasn’t disappointed. Landline had everything that made Eleanor and Park enjoyable – plus the added bonus of a time travelling phone. (Did I mention I love time travel?)

There’s really no way a time travelling phone should have worked, but it really did – and Rowell was able to use it very effectively to highlight questions about Georgie and Neal’s relationship, like: should they be together, or would they be better off apart?

So much of any relationship is give and take and sacrifice, and that’s exactly what Rowell explores in Landline. How much is too much to give? Is being crazy in love with someone enough? Even if they’re unhappy?

Georgie is presented with the option to save her relationship, or stop it before it ever starts, and though you’re never really in any doubt that she will save it and live happily ever after, it does challenge you to think about those questions.

The realism of the relationship made it easy to think about my own relationship and the nature of love, ultimately leaving a happy smile on my face, and the feeling that, whatever challenges you face, if you love each other enough you can work things out. I wouldn’t call it a Hollywood happy ending, but it was certainly the sort of ending we can all aspire for in our own lives. And personally, I find that kind of romance much more magical than the ‘riding off into the sunset’ resolution.

Rating: 5/5

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