Landline by Rainbow Rowell

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Landline by Rainbow Rowell

Category: General Fiction
Rating: 5/5
Reviewer: Loralei Haylock
Reviewed by Loralei Haylock
Summary: A really enjoyable read that bridges the gap between fluffy romance and a true to life examination of a challenging relationship in a way that I think will appeal to fans of both types of story. Highly recommended.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 320 Date: July 2014
Publisher: Orion
ISBN: 978-1409154914

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Georgie McCool has always known what she's wanted and pursued it until she has it. She got her dream job writing comedy, she's about to get her own show, and she got her dream guy, Neal.

Only, she's not so sure she has him any more.

When Georgie chooses to stay and work on her show over Christmas, rather than go to Omaha with Neal and their family, Georgie doesn't expect Neal to pack up the kids and go without her.

Not wanting to go home to their empty house, Georgie spends the holidays with her mother. While trying to get in touch with Neal, she realises her phone is calling a past version of Neal - Neal fifteen years ago, before marriage, before kids.

Georgie feels she's supposed to be using this strange chance to fix something, but the question is - is the problem with her marriage, or the fact that she got married at all?

I love romance with a fantasy twist, and Landline is exactly that. The central conceit, that Georgie can phone her husband fifteen years ago is very time-travel-scifi-fantasy, but it's a conceit used only to illustrate things about the relationship, and about love and life in general, so not likely to put off readers looking for straight romance. The main thrust of the story is Georgie and Neal's relationship - their gravitation towards each other, away, and back together again.

It was terribly romantic. I loved the awkward, uncertainty Georgie and Neal had towards each other, I loved the gradual reveal of how these two seemingly opposite characters came together. But most of all, I loved how real it all seemed. The characters were flawed and made stupid mistakes that came across as so authentic. This wasn't Hollywood, riding off into the sunset, perfect love. It was messy and difficult for the characters, and so much more true to real life.

The 'phoning the past' thing made for some really interesting questions about whether Georgie's relationship with Neal was the right thing, whether it's selfish to expect someone to give up so much to be with you. I really enjoyed how Georgie wrestled with these questions, and the conflict between her selfishness, and her love for Neal and wish for him to be happy. There weren't any easy answers, and that made the path towards reconciliation (which you know is coming, but that doesn't make the anticipation any less) all the more interesting and page-turning.

Overall, a really enjoyable read that bridges the gap between fluffy romance and a true to life examination of a challenging relationship in a way that I think will appeal to fans of both types of story. Highly recommended.

A little more on the serious side, but for more romance with a fantasy twist, try The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger.

Buy Landline by Rainbow Rowell at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Landline by Rainbow Rowell at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy Landline by Rainbow Rowell at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Landline by Rainbow Rowell at Amazon.com.


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