124. Landline- Rainbow Rowell


Title: Landline

Author: Rainbow Rowell

Rating: ★★★★

On the Shelves: Fiction> Contemporary/(hint of)Fantasy/Romance

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?

(Goodreads 2014)

I got my copy of Landline back in July, when I went to see Rowell at my local Waterstones in Liverpool, and managed to get my copy signed. (Fyi, she is a little bit brilliant.)

I’ve previously read Attachments, then Eleanor and Park, and then Fangirl (click the titles for my links/reviews), and now that I have read all four of her current books, I’m going to be brave, and just come out and say it: I prefer Rowell’s “Adult” fiction to her Young Adult Fiction. Sod the Eleanor and Park movie, make Landline into one instead!


I said it.


Anyway. Landline follows a woman named Georgie McCool who, due to her stressful and time-consuming job, has to spend Christmas away from her family, at the office instead. You see flashbacks of how her and her husband got together, and while she is staying at her mum’s house, she discovers her old landline under the bed. Since her mobile phone is always running on a dead battery, she uses it to try to call her husband. Every time she has tried to phone him since they left, her daughters have picked up, but when she tries the landline, Neal picks up- or rather, Neal from about fifteen years earlier, picks up.

The one issue I had during this was that I felt that Neal was being a bit of a prat for seeming to be constantly dodging her calls and not making any effort to phone her back, I didn’t really understand why he never phoned her back. Otherwise, I loved this book. I enjoyed Georgie as a character, she was likeable and realistic. Her relationships with her girls, Neal and even Seth were so sweet. I like that this book had such realistic relationships in it, it wasn’t all happy families, it was uncertain and nerve wrecking. Marriage (or the ideals behind Marriage) is never an easy thing, but if it is something, it is worth fighting for at the end of the day. I loved reading the conversations between Georgie and Past!Neal too, because you got to see how their relationship was back then and how they managed to bring it back from the brink. This is definitely a book I’d recommend reading during the holiday season, just because of all of the warm fuzzies!


10 thoughts on “124. Landline- Rainbow Rowell

    • thebookheap says:

      this is definitely her most festive novel. I also have the anthology of “My true love gave to me” which is all xmas stories and she has written one, so I’m looking forward to reading that in december!

  1. Brandie says:

    This is definitely my favorite RR book, too. I have enjoyed them all, but this one blew me away. Great review – I’m glad you enjoyed it! I’m looking forward to reading her short story in the Christmas anthology.

    • thebookheap says:

      I don’t know why, but her YA books just didn’t live up to the same standard as landline and attachment for me

      me too!

  2. I loved, loved Landline. Rainbow Rowell never lets me down. I wondered about Neal never calling her back too, but I wonder if somehow it would’ve broken the spell of the time travelling phone if they spoke in the present. In the end, their not being able to speak in real time was kind of what brought them back together!

    • thebookheap says:

      yeah I kinda got to the point where I was just like “Arrrgh just go with it because they are cute and I ship it and goddamn it she can hit him for not answering her later” LOL

  3. A phone that talks to the past sounds awesome! I want one! I hope they make this book into a movie for you. I’m not sure if I’d like this one or not, I think that depends on how much the time travel thing plays in the story.

    • thebookheap says:

      it doesn’t actually play much into the story. I mean all you see of it are the phone calls she makes to her past!husband and even then they aren’t very long scenes- it’s never actually explained either haha.

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