- Paperback: 320 pages
- Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin; Reprint edition (July 7, 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1250049547
- ISBN-13: 978-1250049544
- Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.9 x 8.3 inches
- Shipping Weight: 7 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 779 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #28,473 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Landline: A Novel Paperback – July 7, 2015
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“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
“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
About the Author
Rainbow Rowell writes books. Sometimes she writes about adults (Attachments and Landline). Sometimes she writes about teenagers (Eleanor & Park, Fangirl and Carry On). But she always writes about people who talk a lot. And people who feel like they're screwing up. And people who fall in love.
When she's not writing, Rainbow is reading comic books, planning Disney World trips and arguing about things that don't really matter in the big scheme of things.
She lives in Nebraska with her husband and two sons.
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Hot Toasty Rag, May 25, 2017
I loved this book, even though on the surface, it seemed like I wouldn’t. In general, I don’t tend to enjoy fantasy/science fiction, and in general, because of where I am in my life, I find it difficult to identify or root for middle-aged women with children. However, this time-traveling fantasy was entertaining, hilarious, and highly recommended by yours truly.
A woman with a challenging job, two typically needy children, and a marriage that’s lost its luster, reaches an impasse. The ageless question of “What if?” enters her mind as she starts to doubt her life choices, and in particular, her decision to marry her college sweetheart. Now, the fantasy element of the story appears: Georgie, the protagonist, visits her childhood home, and in a wallowing moment of nostalgia, she picks up her old landline phone. All of a sudden, she’s entered a portal fifteen years in the past, to the time right before she became engaged back in college. How is this happening, and why? And as the phone calls continue, will she be able to change her present through the past?
This book is so funny, and the details from Georgie’s job are so spot-on, I’d be surprised if Rainbow Rowell hadn’t used some of her own experiences. Check out this passage below for Rowell’s description of Georgie’s children; rarely have I read such an accurate description of motherhood. If you like the humor and realism, you’ll like the novel. I didn’t happen to like the ending, but you can’t have everything.
“Daddy said I could wear my boots,” Alice croaked.
“Where are they?” Georgie whispered.
They woke Noomi up, looking for them.
Then Noomi wanted HER boots.
Then Georgie offered to get them yogurt, but Neal said they’d eat at the airport; he’d packed snacks.
He let Georgie explain why she wasn’t getting on the plane with them—“Are you driving instead?” Alice asked—while he ran up and down the stairs, and in and out the front door, double-checking things and rounding up bags.
Georgie tried to tell the girls that they’d be having such a good time, they’d hardly miss her—and that they’d all celebrate together next week. “We’ll have two Christmases,” Georgie said.
“I don’t think that’s actually possible,” Alice argued.
Noomi started crying because her sock was turned the wrong way around her toes. Georgie couldn’t tell if she wanted it seam-on-the-bottom or seam-on-top. Neal came in from the garage and whipped off Noomi’s boot to fix it. “Car’s here,” he said.
“You’re the best mommy in the world,” Noomi said. Everything was always “the best” and “the worst” with Noomi. Everything was “never” and “always.”
“And you are the best four-year-old girl in the world,” Georgie said, smashing her nose with a kiss.
“KITTY,” Noomi said. She was still tearful from the sock problem.
“You are the best kitty in the world.” Georgie tucked Noomi’s wispy yellow-brown hair behind her ear and pulled her T-shirt smooth over her belly.
“The best green kitty.”
“Meow,” Noomi said.
“Meow,” Georgie answered.
“Mom?” Alice asked.
“Yeah?” Georgie pulled the seven-year-old closer—“Here, give me all your hugs”—but Alice was too busy thinking to hug back.
“If Santa brings your presents to Grandma’s house, I’ll save them for you. I’ll put them in my suitcase.”
“Santa doesn’t usually bring Mommy presents.”
“Well, but IF he does…”
“Meow,” Noomi said.
“Okay,” Georgie agreed, holding Alice in her left arm and scooping Noomi close with her right, “if he brings me presents, you can take care of them for me.”
“Meow,” Georgie said, squeezing them both.
“The true meaning of Christmas isn’t presents anyway, it’s Jesus. But not for us, because we’re not religious. The true meaning of Christmas for us is just family.”
Georgie kissed her cheek. “That’s true.”
“Okay. I love you. I love you both so much.”
“To the moon and back?” Alice asked.
“Oh my God,” Georgie said, “so much farther.”
“To the moon and back infinity?”
“Meow,” Georgie said. “Infinity times infinity. I love you so much, it hurts.”
Noomi’s face fell. “It hurts?”
“She doesn’t mean it LITERALLY,” Alice said. “Right, Mom? Not LITERALLY?”
“No. Well. Sometimes.”
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.
To be perfectly honest, this book started off extremely slow for me. I started reading it like three times and never made it past the first chapter. Then I finally decided to give the audiobook a try. I'm glad that I did. I still thought it started off slow but once the story started picking up, I had to know what was going to happen. I still think it was pretty slow in some parts. The book didn't move very quickly and, other than emotional turmoil, not a lot happened.
All that aside, this book was great. Georgie trying to decipher the meaning of everything that was happening to her made me think about my past with my husband and certain events that maybe I would have done differently. I do most of my reading/listening while my husband is at work or at night after he has fallen asleep and Georgie and Neal's story made me want to hug him closer and cause me to miss him harder than usual when he was away.
This was definitely a good story that makes you feel and it was very interesting to see what Georgie did with the strange gift that was handed to her.
Rating: 4 Stars