Landline (Rainbow Rowell)

Landline is a novel by Rainbow Rowell.
Finished on: 9.3.2019

Plot:
Georgie and Neal have been together for a very long time. They are married and they have two daughters. But things aren’t all that good anymore. When Georgie gets the chance to write four episodes of a sitcom with her writing partner Seth, but they need to deliver within 10 days, Georgie tells Neal that she won’t be spending Christmas with his family, rather focusing on writing instead. Neal leaves with the kids anyway. When Georgie tries to call him, she realizes that her calls end up in 1998, with Neal’s 22-year-old self.

Landline is sweet and entertaining, but I liked its concept better than its execution. It’s not bad, but it is not the best Rowell has written so far.

The book cover showing a drawing of an old telephone with a circular dial plate.

When I picked up Landline, I thought that Georgie will talk to past self on the phone, not to Neal and I might have liked this better than these conversations here. There is something deceptive and even manipulative about Georgie knowing that she is talking to a past version of Neal, and continuing to do so.

But, okay, that’s the contrivance here and if I accept that, the book is nice enough to read. I liked Georgie and Neal and I also enjoyed that the “will they, won’t they” part here was not about whether they’d get together, but whether they’ll divorce.

That the book includes a quota POC/queer sidekick is a little jarring, though – a little on the nose of “look, I’m doing diversity”. But Cather and Levi from Fangirl make a quick appearance, which was nice.

Overall, the book is more okay rather than really good. For a quick, entertaining read you can do worse, though.

Summarizing: Fine.

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