Review – Landline

Landline – Rainbow Rowell

Orion, 2014

Georgie has spent years chasing the dream of her own comedy show, co-written with her best friend Seth, but when the chance arrives it’s in direct conflict with her planned family Christmas. When her husband leaves for the holiday anyway, taking their daughters and leaving Georgie behind, she’s forced to face the truth: something has broken between them. Retreating to her mother’s house and her childhood bedroom, Georgie finds an unexpected way to reconnect – but the Neal she encounters at the other end of the phone is not the Neal she knows.

Landline had Rowell’s signature quirky charm and excellent dialogue, but I didn’t love it the way I loved Fangirl and Attachments. The fantasy element was unexpected and unexplained, somewhat adrift in what was otherwise straight fiction. I was also unsatisfied at the resolution – for spoilery details, read the paragraph below. That said, though, it’s an immensely readable book, I swallowed the whole thing in about five hours.

(Spoilers: I‘m not fond of the romance genre and Landline felt much more of a romance than the other Rowell books I’ve read so far. My reaction to Georgie’s grand gesture at the end of the book was ‘Why could you not pack proper shoes and also a jacket’, rather than feels. The main problem, though, was how badly mismatched Georgie and Neal seemed as a couple. He does not seem to respect the things she loves and resents what appears to be her only strong friendship; it’s also extremely immature to ignore her phone calls all week. He’s so negative. I wanted this book to be about their break-up. I was disappointed.)

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