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Landline: A Novel Hardcover – July 8, 2014
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An Amazon Best Book of the Month, July 2014: In Landline, Rainbow Rowell once again shares her insightful, funny perspective on love and relationships, this time delving into a marriage floundering in the wake of kids, careers, and the daily grind. Georgie and Neal have been married for fifteen years and have two young girls who Neal cares for while Georgie works as a sitcom writer. When Georgie skips the family trip to her in-laws in Omaha for Christmas and the rest of her family goes without her, she realizes that maybe her marriage is going too. When a line to the past (literally) gives Georgie a chance to re-live an earlier pivotal moment in their relationship, she sees it as an opportunity to figure out if she and Neal should have been together in the first place. Landline is a deeply resonant story about being willing to go all in--at the start or after being together for many years--for the kind of love that makes “everything else just scenery.” --Seira Wilson
“The magic phone becomes Ms. Rowell's way to rewrite ‘It's a Wonderful Life'…what that film accomplished with an angel named Clarence, Ms. Rowell accomplishes with a quaint old means of communication, and for her narrative purposes, it really does the trick.” ―The New York Times
“While the topic might have changed, this is still Rowell--reading her work feels like listening to your hilariously insightful best friend tell her best stories.” ―Library Journal, starred review on Landline
“Her characters are instantly lovable, and the story moves quickly…the ending manages to surprise and satisfy all at once. Fans will love Rowell's return to a story close to their hearts.” ―Kirkus Reviews on Landline
“Rowell is, as always, a fluent and enjoyable writer--the pages whip by.” ―Publishers Weekly on Landline
“Keen psychological insight, irrepressible humor and a supernatural twist: a woman can call her husband in the past.” ―Time Magazine on Landline
"Rowell pulls off this impossible premise with great charm, and her depictions of the couple’s sweet courtship and their later compromise-filled marriage are equally unsentimental and knowing." ―Curtis Sittenfeld for The New Yorker
“The dialogue flows naturally; it's zippy, funny, and fresh. The flirtation between young Georgie and Neal is genuinely romantic.” ―Boston Globe
“After the blazing successes of Eleanor & Park, Fangirl and Attachments, it's become clear that Rowell is an absolute master of rendering emotionally authentic and absorbing stories...While the novel soars in its more poignant moments, Rowell injects the proper dose of humor to keep you laughing through your tears.” ―RT Book Reviews on Landline
“To skip her work because of its rom-com sheen would be to miss out on the kind of swift, canny honesty of that passage, which is typical of the pleasures of Landline -- it's a book that's a joy from sentence to sentence, and on that intimate level there's absolutely nothing unoriginal or clichéd in the way Rowell thinks. Her work is dense with moments of sharp observation…and humor.” ―Chicago Tribune Printers Row
“But a focus on the endings is the wrong one when you're reading a book of Rowell's. What matters most are the middles, which she packs with thoughtful dissections of how we live today, reflections upon the many ways in which we can love and connect as humans, and tacit reassurances of the validity of our feelings regardless of our particular experiences.” ―Slate.com on Landline
“Landline might not have any teenage protagonists, but it does have all the pleasures of Rowell's YA work -- immediate writing that's warm and energetic” ―Time.com
“More gentle, more real than Douglas Coupland, more smooth and also more clever than Helen Fielding. Truly, slowly, sweetly gorgeous.” ―The Globe & Mail
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I really think I was meant to read this book. I know that sounds funny, but I honestly do. Georgie and Neal have been married 14 years. Just so happens my husband and I just celebrated our 14 year anniversary on July 8...which, if you look under book description at the publication date of Landline, it is also July 8. Coincidence?? I think not!
I could go on about how great the characters were in this story, and believe me, they were. I loved every single person in this book, from Georgie's sister Heather to Noomi (meow), even Seth...although at times I wanted to knock him in the head. I loved the witty banter between Georgie, Seth and Scotty when they were working. It reminded me of an episode of Seinfeld many times, and I laughed out loud more than once. These people were around my age, so I identified with so many references in this book. I even loved Georgie's mom, even if her love of pugs and all things related was just a tad odd...ok more than a tad, but who cares.
What I really want to make people understand is how this book makes you think. We have all wondered, and even prayed a time or two, to have a chance to go back and undo a mistake that was made. Would you? You bet I would. Hindsight and all that, but anyway.. It's so easy to take your partner for granted, believe me I know. When you are married 14 years, parents of 3 kids, work full time, go to school part time, yada yada yada.. What I am trying to say that it's just so easy to get soft. Everything either gets in a routine, or just gets comfortable, and you forget to try. You forget the little things that made you fall in love in the first place. You just take for granted that your partner knows how you feel. Why shouldn't they? But you also forget how nice it feels to actually know that they know how you feel. Does that make sense? When is the last time you thanked your husband for dinner he made instead of getting mad about the mess he also made in making said dinner? Guilty! How about how he took care of the kids duties that night because you had a paper due in your online class that you just had to finish? Also guilty! Do you see my point? I think what this book made me realize is that although you have been together for such and such years, never quit trying. Never stop appreciating the little things. Never just assume they know how you feel. I know when I read this over the weekend, my husband was actually working. I don't know how many times during the day I sent him a text just to tell him I loved him, and that I appreciated all of his contributions to our family. There's times I could strangle him with the socks he never picks up (grrrr) but the love for him outweighs that by a ton. I have to also admit I texted him so many times just to tell him these things that he considered leaving work early because he thoughts I was losing it, but I digress. Read this book. You will understand what I am trying to say better than I can say it I'm sure.
Honest opinion, it was an enjoyable read but it didn’t keep me captivated throughout the book the way her other novels did. It was a little difficult for me to wrap myself around the idea of a magic phone. The idea feels very far fetched throughout the story. Ultimately it complimented the novel very well. Georgie evolved through the novel and realized many things that weren’t clear to her before. This is a must read for every devoted Rainbow fan, which I consider myself as for sure. ♥EG
The story is a very personal examination of these characters' lives, with the bonus of wit and humor and a interesting perspective on Georgie and Neal's relationship from the beginning. The way the author brings these two sides of the same character together was amazing! Young and old versions seem the same and yet they have grown and are so completely realistic. I love how the backstories and the present are intertwined.
It's the characters that really made this book an exceptionally compelling read. There are so many wonderful moments between them - that really celebrate the beauty and variety of relationships, and also feels so real and grounded - I'm simultaneously relating to these people and wishing some of their awesomeness would rub off on me. This story takes place around Christmas, and I think that feeling of Christmas pervades throughout - with the importance of family and love. This is a lovely and heart-warming read!