I received this book free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Landline by Rainbow Rowell
Published by St. Martin's Press on July 8th 2014
Genres: Chick-Lit, Magical Realism
Source: the Publisher
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Also by this author: Attachments, Eleanor & Park
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?
‘ There’s a magic phone hidden in my closet. And I think it’s connected to the past. And I think I’m supposed to fix something. I think I’m supposed to make something right. ‘
Georgie McCool’s life revolves around her career as a TV show writer. She loves her job but when a Christmas trip with her family goes awry because of work complications, Georgie realizes her job is getting in the way of being there for her family. Her husband is still intent on taking the trip and leaves her home alone for Christmas. Staying with her mom one night, Georgia uses the old yellow landline from her childhood bedroom to call Neal one night. When he answers, she realizes the Neal she’s speaking to isn’t aware they’re married or have children because he’s the Neal she started dating back in 1998.
This seemingly simple story of a marriage on the rocks takes an expected magical realism turn. Georgie is able to take to her husband before he’s her husband and before all the issues that they’re currently dealing with rear their ugly head. Georgie can’t determine whether her ability to speak to him in the past is her chance to correct things in their relationship or her chance to end them before they even start. The ability to go back in time and change things is something I think everyone has wished for at some point or another but will changing things actually be for the better?
Landline is written solely from the point of view of Georgie and I did think the story would have benefited from having both sides of the marriage being told. I felt Neal was a slightly underdeveloped character and hearing his thoughts and feelings on things would have been a helpful addition to understanding it all. The reasoning behind leaving Neal underdeveloped seemed to be because it was meant to be clear that Georgie was solely in the wrong for their relationship issues and he didn’t need to change anything on his end. Georgie’s devotion to her career shouldn’t have been something she needed to feel guilty about and I felt Neal should have been slightly more understanding when Georgie decided to cancel their trip. This was after all a once in a lifetime opportunity for her and it was upsetting that he couldn’t understand that after all their years together.
The story focuses solely on the issues with their marriage and is only going to be understandable if they’re also relatable which I think will be problematic for Rowell’s YA readers that still wish to read anything by the author. The fact that Rowell took your typical chick-lit style novel and added a magical realism flair is really what’s going to set this novel apart from the rest and it’s worth reading just for that factor. The simple addition of a magic phone put a much-needed spin and uniqueness to a frequently told tale.
I was fortunate enough to receive an early copy of this book from St. Martins Press and now want to share this book with one of my readers! All you need to do to enter is leave a comment below!
Since I’m covering shipping costs, this is open to U.S. residents only. Sorry international followers!
Giveaway ends July 24th, 2014!
Congratulations to Dani D.! Hope you enjoy Landline.
Thank you so much to everyone that entered!