Review: Landline

Landline, Rainbow Rowell


Published July 8th 2014 by St. Martin’s Press

308 pages

Source: Publisher

If you haven’t read a Rainbow Rowell book yet, you’re missing out.  Her books seem to resonate so well for me with different stages in my life.  Eleanor & Park was an amazing flashback to the 80’s, a surprisingly emotional book about young love and mixed tapes. I reviewed Attachments here, that book made me reflect on my own email history with my best friend-basically chronicling our 20s over email every day.   And I love the pop culture references Rowell throws in her books; make a Time Lord joke and I’m yours!

In Landline Rowell takes a look at marriage and how easy it is to take one’s spouse for granted.  I loved Georgie and Neal.  Really what a name, Georgie McCool-you have to be amazing with that name.  We meet Georgie just as she’s made a pretty crappy choice-to stay in LA and work on a television show while her husband and girls go to Omaha for Christmas.  Georgie thinks her family will function just fine without her, but can she function without her family?

Georgie can’t handle the thought of going home to her empty house and so visits her mother and stepfather.  Georgie’s younger sister is living at home and she was a highlight of Landline for me. She’s a complete smart-ass and a great foil to Georgie’s wallowing in self-pity.  While at her mother’s Georgie picks up her teenage phone to call Neal and finds herself talking to Neal in the past.

What?  This sounds crazy.  And it was kind of crazy, but Rowell makes it work.  In between calls to Neal we get George’s memories from college and these were great.  Georgie takes a hard look at her life and wonders if she can change things on these phone calls-and whether she should. What does she really want in her life going forward?

I appreciated Landline because really, marriage is work.  It should be work.  I enjoy books that don’t show it all as flowers and dinners out-books that show you real life and real hurts.  Landline felt real– at least until the magic phone came about.

I loved this quote–too true

“Georgie was pretty sure that having kids was the worst thing you could do to a marriage.  Sure you could survive it.  You could survive a giant boulder falling on your head– that didn’t mean it was good for you.”

Will Georgie and Neal survive their children and their marriage?  Landline will make you laugh, make you sigh happily over college romance, and sigh sadly over  the slights that happen during marriage.  I still don’t get quite why this crazy phone worked but it did!

4.5 stars!

Thank you St. Marten’s Press for this Advanced Reader’s Copy!


  1. This sounds great! I’m anxious to read this one. I love that this shows a marriage in trouble not because of anything huge but because of the little everyday strains. Sure some marriages fail because of infidelity or something huge but I think most rough patches are due to the taking for granted and just being tired. It’s nice to see that in fiction form. Glad you liked it!

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