Landline by Rainbow Rowell (Book Review)

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Landline by Rainbow Rowell
Landline by Rainbow Rowell is a wonderful read, especially if you’re married. The novel shows a marriage’s realities beyond the honeymoon stage, when you have to work harder to keep the magic alive, when you sometimes need to be reminded of the bliss that brought you together in the first place. Needless to say, it resonated with me! It is a book not about falling in love, but staying in love.

Here’s the book’s synopsis from Goodreads:

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?

Here are my thoughts on the book.

Random thoughts on “Landline” by Rainbow Rowell

Landline takes us through Georgie and Neal’s relationship — from the time they first notice each other in college, to the unraveling of their admiration for each other, to dealing with romantic and not-so romantic baggage (Neal’s high school sweetheart, Georgie’s charming male best friend and writing partner), to how their marriage began slowly losing its foundation. I got drawn to the characters Rainbow Rowell brought to life. You can’t help but root for Georgie and Neal. (I am also a little in love with Neal, by the way.)

You feel Georgie’s desire to patch up her marriage. You feel her remorse, regret and desire to rebuild her marriage as she takes responsibility for it.

Then there’s the time travel aspect. Georgie stumbles upon her old yellow rotary phone and finds herself able to talk on the phone with her husband in the past, before he’s proposed to her. What should she say to him? A lot, apparently. And Past Neal had quite a lot to share with her. It was a surreal but intimate way of reconnecting with the Neal she fell in love with, the Neal that she thought had faded away after fourteen years. Through the time travel phone calls, Georgie went on her own journey of cherishing Neal. Time travel was a way to remind Georgie about how much she loved her husband.

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{Image Credit: No BS Book Reviews}

Landline and Reflections on My Marriage

Sometimes we really have to be reminded of the big and little things that brought us together in the first place. They kind of get lost as a marriage moves forward and more practical things come into the picture. Seriously. Landline reminded me of that.

I thought about what I’d tell my husband if I suddenly could talk to Past Him. What would I be reminded of? I’m reminded of how much he made me laugh. We’ve gotten more serious over the past 11 years of marriage, but I’m glad we still laugh. This novel reminded me that we should laugh even more.

I’d ask him to tell more stories. There was one part in the time travel conversation when Georgie just let Past Neal talk and talk. “Tell me about this…” “Tell me about that…” And Past Neal would share his stories. That resonated with me because lately, what’s been dominating our conversations at home are budgets, schedules, work plans… Practical stuff that we need to accomplish to move forward everyday. So I tried Georgie’s “Tell me” approach this afternoon. Before naptime, I asked him to tell me about his recent marathon. And he talked, and talked, and talked, until we fell asleep. I liked that. I like talking about things that aren’t future-related.

More about Landline

  • You can read an excerpt of Landline over at Goodreads. Here’s the link: Excerpt.
  • One fan made a fanmix of Landline. So awesome. Fanmix here.
  • Rainbow Rowell writes about 11 songs To Listen To while reading her book! Her list on Buzzfeed here.

I totally recommend Landline. It’s a good read. It was a little slow at times, with Georgie repeatedly punishing herself with thoughts of how things were her fault, how she should’ve known better… but it’s also what drew me in to the story — how real these characters were. I also like that it shows how a marriage can crack over time when it’s not cared for, when you lose sight of the love that keeps it together.

Georgie was wondering if love was enough to keep them together. I believe it is. Everything else follows really, when you choose love. When you choose to put love in the little things, the big things take care of themselves. For as long as your actions come from a place of love, your marriage will thrive. Thanks to Georgie and Neal for reminding me of how my marriage is thriving in its own way, and how we can make it thrive even more.

*****
Rainbow Rowell is one of my favorite authors. Do yourself a favor and rock your world by reading her other books too. Attachments is my favorite of all these 3 she’s written.

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{Other Books by Rainbow Rowell}
*****
This is one of the songs author Rainbow Rowell recommends to listen to while reading Landline. As she shared on Buzzfeed, “My agent sent me this song while I was writing the book, and I couldn’t believe how well it fit my story and tone — a strained relationship with the landline as a symbol of stability. It used to be that your telephone still worked, even when your power went out; you could always call for help. If Landline were a movie, I’d imagine this song playing when everything seems lost. “All I ever needed was a landline, just in case the power lines go down / All I needed would never be enough for me.””

10 Comments on Landline by Rainbow Rowell (Book Review)

  1. Aggie Aviso
    July 21, 2014 at 7:55 am (8 years ago)

    I loooooooove Attachments! :) I downloaded Landline just now – cant wait to read it 😀

    Reply
    • Toni
      July 21, 2014 at 9:03 am (8 years ago)

      Let me know what you think of Landline! So excited for you. And am super happy you love Attachments. I loved it so much I read it 3x. Heehee. #romantic

      Reply
    • Toni
      July 21, 2014 at 3:16 pm (8 years ago)

      Good morning! Naku read na Attachments. <3 <3 <3

      Reply
  2. A Gracious Life
    July 22, 2014 at 8:58 pm (8 years ago)

    No need to go to goodreads. I think I gotta pick up the book real soon. Thanks Toni!

    Reply
    • Toni
      July 23, 2014 at 2:42 pm (8 years ago)

      Anytime! Happy reading!

      Reply
  3. joey @ 80 breakfasts
    July 31, 2014 at 12:00 am (8 years ago)

    A friend recommended Rainbow Rowell and now I’m doubly sold! Thanks for this great review…and just when I was looking for more books to load into my ereader :)
    joey @ 80 breakfasts´s last blog post ..Asian Style Garlic Mushrooms

    Reply
  4. Sheryl
    August 1, 2014 at 9:05 am (8 years ago)

    After I finish the book I’m reading right now, Landline is next! I’ve also read all 3 of Rainbow Rowell’s books and like you, I like Attachments the most. :)

    Reply
  5. Jen
    August 18, 2014 at 10:37 pm (8 years ago)

    I love Rainbow Rowell. It feels like she knows what story or anecdote to write to make me realize something about myself and my relationship with people around me. I’m not yet married (though I have a boyfriend) but Landline still touched me deeply. It brought out the fears I have on such a strong commitment like marriage. It also gave my boyfriend and I some things to discuss. It made us know each other in a different level. :)
    Jen´s last blog post ..How to make mornings a little less dreadful

    Reply
  6. angie
    October 13, 2014 at 5:11 pm (8 years ago)

    So far, Attachments is my favorite too. I’m 3/4ths done with Landline and it may overtake Attachments. Haha! Must be she’s our age and she was a senior in 1998 like us. Haha! Though a proposal at that time would make me cringe and run away. Haha!

    After this, ano na babasahin ko? Waaaah!
    angie´s last blog post ..Moving

    Reply

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