Landline, by Rainbow Rowell (2014)

LandlineRainbow Rowell uses the universal human lament – if only I knew then what I know now – and spins a new adult tale of true love nearly gone wrong. Georgie McCool (yup, that’s her real name – so awesome that when she marries Neal insists she keeps it) is a comedy script writer in Hollywood whose star is on the rise. The promise of a new show forces her to choose between working on four scripts to nail the offer or spending Christmas with hubby and daughters at the in-laws. She chooses wrong. When Neal takes the girls to Nebraska without her, Georgie is stunned but shakes it off and buckles down with colleagues, staying at her mother’s for the interim. Georgie insists nothing is wrong with her marriage. But when she uses her mum’s landline to call Neal, she gets through to a key week in 1998, before they were engaged. Is this a chance for Georgie to make things right? Or was this union never meant to be in the first place?
I loved both Fangirl and Eleanor & Park, but this one falls quite short. The premise just isn’t strong enough. Comedy writer falls for a guy who never laughs, building a marriage that is based on the premise “I love you more than I hate everything else.” Sure, THAT’ll be a great person to spend your life with. The plot is essentially magic phone plus rocky marriage. Meh. The whole book is full of awkward – a pregnant pug, cougar mum, best friend who happens to be a gorgeous guy, and a protagonist who wears broken bras while hubby just gets hotter? Nothing quite works and Georgie herself deteriorates into a useless scriptwriter wearing her mother’s velour pants. Annoying time references – Gingrich as speaker of the house? – tedious dialogue and lacklustre plot add up to a miss. Pass on this one and go look up Hello from the Gillespies if you want a holiday tale of love nearly lost.
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About Michelle Mallette
I'm just trying to keep track of the books I've read - what I liked and what isn't worth re-reading. My work as a librarian has included youth services so you'll find a wide range of interests from picture books and teen dystopia to adult sci-fi, road trip novels, and nonfiction. Comments and communication is always welcome.

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