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Landline: A Review

This post contains no spoilers.


I just finished reading my friend Rainbow Rowell’s latest book, Landline. Yes, I just called her my friend. INTERNET FRIENDS ARE REAL FRIENDS. AND YES, WE HAVE HUNG OUT IN REAL LIFE SHE IS NOT A SERIAL KILLER.


I’ve been struggling to concentrate and focus on things lately; I haven’t picked up a book since February. That changed when Noah pre-ordered for my birthday Landline, as well as a special edition of Eleanor & Park. They finally came last week, but I’ve been so swamped with work that I hadn’t been able to get to it. Till now.

It feels like not long ago Rainbow was posting on Facebook about the main characters, Georgie and Neal, wondering if their names went well together, and how exactly she should spell Neal. Fast-forward to now when book-sellers apparently like Canada a whole lot and sent out Landline two weeks before it was to be released. I didn’t mind in the least.

Landline is about a woman, Georgie, who knows her marriage is in trouble. She and her husband, Neal, still love each other, but things aren’t going well exactly. Two days before she and her family (she has two little girls) are to head to Omaha for Christmas, Georgie backs out because she has an important meeting she has to prepare for. Her family leaves for Omaha without her. Georgie is worried that she’s finally done it and ruined everything. That this is the last straw. At her mom’s place that night (her mom reminds me of Dharma (as in Dharma & Greg) and/or Dharma’s mother), she sleeps in her childhood bedroom and accidentally stumbles upon a way to speak to her husband. But not the current version of him, the 15-years-ago version. Just before he proposes to her. She’s not sure if she is supposed to try to save her marriage before it starts, or if she should prevent it from starting in the first place.

A few chapters into the book there were already too many things I liked about the book to list, besides my instant-liking to its characters. Like the Harry Potter references that are sprinkled throughout the book and Georgie’s kids watching The Rescuers (Rainbow’s twitter avatar is Bernard) and the reference to Calvinism (I laughed at this one, as I grew up in a Calvinist church/school) and Georgie’s sister Heather saying, “I’m calling from inside the house.”

Her characters have such hilarious, awkward internal dialogue. Except it’s not awkward as much as it’s normal, but nobody says it out loud. Not that the characters say it out loud, but in a way they do, as their thoughts are right there on the page.

I connected so much with Georgie. I saw so many parallels between our lives. Not outwardly, as I do not write sitcoms, but inwardly, our thought paterns. Also, I guess both our marriages were in trouble, though the reasons could not be more different. I connected with Jennifer from Attachments in many ways as well. We’re kindred spirits. I love connecting with characters in books, and Rainbow writes rad characters.

Landline has easily become one of my favourite books, and will be put on my to-read-again(-many-times) pile as soon as it comes back from a bunch of people who would like to borrow it. And it comes out today! Go buy a copy! I promise you won’t regret it.

If you’d like a signed copy of Landline or any of Rainbow’s previous books, you can order them from The Bookworm in Omaha.

(And Lisa, I’ll have it ready for you as soon as you get back.)

Oh! And Rainbow just tweeted that there is an easter egg in Landline! An update on a couple in one of her previous books! So, I’m off to re-read it …

Also by Rainbow Rowell: Attachments, Eleanor & Park, and Fangirl.

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  • bonnie Tuesday, July 8, 2014, 3:15 pm

    You know that Harry Potter is so much a part of my life and my thoughts that I don’t notice references to it anymore than I notice any other words. Doctor Who is still unusual enough in US culture that I notice THOSE references, but I kind of love that Harry Potter is just universal enough that I am pretty much just like, “Oh yeah, that’s a totally normal way to word that.” <3

    Also, I love this book.