Friday 25 July 2014

Landline by Rainbow Rowell

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

Maybe that was always besides 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 to 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?

I adore Rainbow's writing (who doesn't?) and her adult books are no different from her YA books in terms of interesting characters and great story arcs. And I know a lot of you have minor issues with reading her adult books because it's difficult to relate to, and although I might not be married yet, I am old enough to understand the complexities of adult relationships. They can be complicated and especially with young children, romance and spontaneity can go out the window!

So, Georgie is a TV writer and has just been plugged for her own show but needs to write five episodes over Christmas. Which means she can't go on holiday with her family, which of course her husband hates. Leaving her home alone, Neal doesn't speak to her for the whole Christmas break, although Georgie tries. Even from the very beginning, it was heartbreaking to see their relationship crumbling at the edges. 

Rainbow used flash-backs in correlation to the magic phone to show how Georgie and Neal's relationship blossomed and grew. As they got older, it was obvious they were struggling to balance work and home and the tension was starting to show in their lack of communication. So when Georgie discovers she has this connection to a past Neal, she is estastic to be able to talk to the Neal she fell in love with. All this weird mojo with the magic phone was surprisingly realistic; she considers insanity before an actual time portal!

It was a little bit sad as she realises it may be better off to let Neal go. But she still loves him so much and is too stubborn and selfish to let him go. Which is understandably, I would be too. But talking to past-Neal makes her remember how good they are together and her family is definitely worth fighting for. So although parts of it were bittersweet, the overall feel was incredibly romantic but also realistic. Sometimes you need that big sweeping gesture and you have work for what you love.  

Published 3rd July 2014 by Orion.

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