Landline by Rainbow Rowell
ABOUT THE BOOK
Published: July 8, 2014
Genre: Adult Fiction
Length: 308 pgs.
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?
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(and a whole lotta of swearing)
Imma rip into this book like nobody’s business…so watcha Rowell fans, it’s about to get pretttty ugly. :D
I have several issues with this book so I’ll try to keep this as short as I can while still explaining with clarity what I did and did not like about this book. Starting this book was exciting for me because this is my first Rainbow Rowell book and let’s face it…there’s so much hype. I was kind of nervous. And the beginning wasn’t so bad, I still had high expectations, but after a little while…when things didn’t change…it wasn’t looking too good.
One of the biggest issues with this book is that it doesn’t do such a good of actually portraying one of important main characters: Neal. Other than at the beginning and at the end, with a few phone calls in between, we never really get to know Neal. This book follows Georgie’s perspective as she tries to figure out how to fix her marriage and herself and as the synopsis states, she does this by connecting with her husband from the past but the problem is…she’s married to the Neal of the future. From what we do know, Neal doesn’t seem to have changed much since his marriage with Georgie but after about seventeen years or so…yeah, it’s pretty rational to assume every person does change (even if a little). And throughout the book, Georgie connects with Neal in order to find out what went wrong and when she seems to have come up with the answer…I kept thinking: OK, but this is not your Neal…you can’t possibly think just talking to the old Neal will help your situation with the current Neal (current Neal has kids—which you would think he would consider when taking off but more on that later…) So that is one of the largest problems because by the time I got to the end of the book, I was like…WTF? That’s it?
That leads me to another problem I had with the ending (and the whole story itself). This book takes place over the course of a week (or two) and each day we see Georgie think things through and all that and by the end of two fucking weeks it feels like she suddenly has all the answers. I don’t know about this crazy, perfect world Georgie McCool lives in, but in the real world, nobody fucking changes just because they say so. And for Neal (Neal of the future) to actually accept that was just naivety. I mean, seriously, these two idiots have two children (LIKE two human beings that they are responsible for!). So when Neal just takes her back, I was like…this nut job is the mother of your children and she has been ignoring them for the majority of her life. Do you really fucking think she’ll change just because she “promises” she will? Really, Neal? Really?
Neal…let’s talk about him for a minute now. Other than the fact that we barely even know this dude that is our MC’s “happily ever after,” I want to talk about the fact that he, too, plays a part in the dilemma that is a part of Georgie’s and his marriage. Albeit a much smaller part than Georgie, but if you live with someone for seventeen years and still can’t be open and honest with them about your feelings than…well, sir, you really can’t expect it to last very long. That’s the problem with Neal. When Georgie tells him she has to work Christmas day, he clenches his jaw, packs up the kids, and heads home to mommy—without saying a goddamn thing! If, after so many years, he hasn’t the guts to say it like it to his wife than I really can’t be expected to feel that bad for him. I don’t care what his “nature” is, Georgie is his wife. I expected him to yell, scream, fight but…nothing. How these two strangers got through even those first seventeen years of their marriage is a fucking miracle.
And that moment with Seth…what the fuck? I did not understand the point of that scene…what was the use of that? Is Adult Fiction now doing that really childish, cliched thing with the love triangles too (for fuck’s sake!)? Considering nothing was really solved in this book for me, it’s sad that this was the only intense moment in the book (the moment of confrontation that I was expecting to happen with Georgie and Neal) and it seemed to have no fucking purpose!
As for the writing…it was generally OK. I like that is was light in tone but considering even in this light-hearted approach, Georgie and Neal’s marriage wasn’t considered seriously was the big, fat issue for me.
Perhaps it was because of all the hype and the praise I’ve heard about Rainbow Rowell but I really expected a novel more mature than this one. I’m not married but I’ve been around married couples all my life—some have made it and some haven’t it—and I don’t think I have to have any prior experience to know Georgie and Neal sure as heck ain’t gonna make it…good luck to their kids, though. I am going to try, though, to read another Rainbow Rowell book but this time, I’m not going to expect anything.
P.S. I gotta be honest, I’ve only read little chick-lit, but the one book I’ve read by Sophie Kinsella (I’ve Got Your Number) was much, much better than this book.
OK, I’m done for the day…go nuts with the insults if you want…
This review is also available on BookLikes and GoodReads.