Landline by Rainbow Rowell



The Story

“I love you more than I hate everything else.”

Georgie McCool knows her marriage is in trouble; it has been in trouble for a long time. She still loves her husband, Neal, and Neal still loves her, deeply — but that almost seems beside the point now.

Maybe that was always beside the point.

Two days before they’re supposed to visit Neal’s family in Omaha for Christmas, Georgie tells Neal that she can’t go. She’s a TV writer, and something’s come up on her show; she has to stay in Los Angeles. She knows that Neal will be upset with her — Neal is always a little upset with Georgie — but she doesn’t expect him to pack up the kids and go home without her.

When her husband and the kids leave for the airport, Georgie wonders if she’s finally done it. If she’s ruined everything.

That night, Georgie discovers a way to communicate with Neal in the past. It’s not time travel, not exactly, but she feels like she’s been given an opportunity to fix her marriage before it starts…

Is that what she’s supposed to do?

Or would Georgie and Neal be better off if their marriage never happened?

My Thoughts

★★★★★ 4.75/5 stars!

Rainbow Rowell, never ceases to fail me. Every time I pick up one of her books, I know that I’ll have a fantastic read waiting for me. The funniest part of it is that I am not a big contemporary reader at all. The genre is hit-or-miss for me, but somehow, Rowell’s books always satisfy my thirst for this genre.


This is a new experiment for Rowell. As you’ve probably noticed, she’s known for her YA contemporary/romance, instead. This book, however, is a contemporary adult fiction. A+ for the experiment. You have won the literary fair award for me.

This book centers on its main protagonist, Georgie McCool, and she’s having marital issues with her husband Neal. They seemed to be stuck in a routine, and they don’t see the infinite cycle of life’s obligations. They go about their business unaware that they are losing the connection they once had. The connection seems to sever completely when Georgie once again prioritizes her work over her family, by deciding to stay home for Christmas to work on a script for a newly green-lighted tv show. She does not expect, however, for her husband and children to leave without for her Omaha, Nebraska. I may not have a husband or children, but this plot, overall, reflects a realistic scenario in people’s lives. We get caught up so much of the time that we disconnect from what really matters.

Rowell understands how relationships function; she understands that they are complex and require work in order to maintain a sense of sustainability, and not all relationships work the same way. For example, Georgie is not the same person when she’s with Seth (her best friend), and Seth is not the same person when he’s around Georgie. In other words, people are linked to each other in a never-ending web. It takes us, though, dedication to not let the cords snap when we aren’t paying attention.

The twist in this story, of course, is the magical realism part: the phone that links Georgie to the past. This plot device asks the question: what would we do differently if we were given another chance? It’s definitely a question we perhaps all ponder on before we fall asleep, but Rowell forces us to think about it once more.

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