Landline by Rainbow Rowell

July 10, 2014 Contemporary Fiction 37

Good Day, Bookworms!

You know how exciting it is when one of your favorite authors releases a new book? I discovered Eleanor & Park (reviewmostly by accident last year and loved it. Shortly thereafter, I went to BlogHer where I was able to snag an advanced copy of Fangirl (review), which I also loved. Since there was only one remaining Rainbow Rowell book I hadn’t yet read, I chose Attachments (review) for last September’s Fellowship of the Worms. Needless to say, I’ve been desperate for more Rainbow Rowell since finishing Attachments. I unabashedly emailed a representative from St. Martin’s Press to beg for a copy of Landline before its release on July 8, 2014. Thankfully, the obliged me, and I’m here to tell you all about it! (Without major spoilers. Because I’m not a monster.)

landlineGeorgie is a TV writer in LA working for a moderately successful (though tacky and horrible) television show. She married her college sweetheart Neal and has two little girls. She and Neal love each other, but Georgie’s hours on the show and the pressures of life in LA have taken a toll on their marriage. They seem to have reached a breaking point over Christmas 2013. Georgie is offered a big opportunity writing a new show, and chooses to stay in LA and work while Neal takes the girls to visit his family in Omaha (because Rainbow Rowell loves her some Nebraska, y’all. Midwest love!) After her family leaves for the airport, Georgie realizes that she may just have finally broken everything. Desperate to reconnect and dealing with unanswered cell phone calls, Georgie discovers a bizarre way to communicate with Neal. Only. Well. There’s a magic phone involved. And it kind of, sort of calls Neal’s parents’ landline… In 1998.

Rowell is in fine form as she effortlessly weaves elements of science fiction (Dr. Who style) into an astoundingly realistic story of a marriage in trouble. She also name drops Amy Sherman-Palladino (she wrote Gilmore Girls!!!) which thrilled me to no end. Rowell has a knack for putting together fabulous casts of quirky side characters I can’t help but adore. I mean, a 4 year old who wants to be a cat? A mother obsessed with breeding pugs and velour track suits? What else can I say to convince you that you need to read Rainbow Rowell?!

The whole premise had me enthralled. How bizarre would it be to speak to your spouse as they were when you first met? The idea of speaking to a 2003 version of my husband both amuses and disturbs me… Of course, it WOULD give me another opportunity to read him Harry Potter over the phone (well, the first 4 books anyway… I wouldn’t want to spoil the end for him before the rest of the books were released.)

What about you, Bookworms? If you had the opportunity to speak with a past version of your spouse/significant other, would you do it?

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37 Responses to “Landline by Rainbow Rowell”

  1. Megan M.


    Actually I was a little nervous about this one because the early reviews on Amazon seemed mixed. It seemed like in a book about a troubled marriage, you can’t help but choose a side, and then the reviewer either loved or hated the ending based on who seemed to “win.”

    I also heard that there’s an update of sorts for one of the couples from her earlier books in this book! I can’t wait to see who it is!

  2. Jancee

    I read Fangirl and Eleanor & Park in pretty quick succession as well. I haven’t gotten around to Attachments yet, but I’m in the hold line for Landline at my library. I’m hearing so much great stuff about it, I can’t wait to read it for myself!

  3. Girl

    I started reading this through the preview on amazon…. Then my library copy came in (I was first in line since I requested the order!), so I went to the library then read the whole thing after work. I didn’t get anything else done last night, but by god I finished that book!!! I was ultra excited about the other character updates and was reading so so carefully, but it was my least favorite characters. Which was disappointing only because I was hoping it was from another book, which probably most people haven’t read, so I guess that wouldn’t make sense. Anyway.

    But yes, I did really enjoy it! I don’t think I would like talking to a past husband as much. I would feel like Claire in time traveler’s wife, like something is missing. We have had too much growth together, I wouldn’t want to miss out. But I liked the way Rainbow wrote it!

    I would for sure talk to a past SELF though. That would be pretty awesome.

      • Girl

        I WAS! I of course WANTED the other couple the most, but figured there was no way in heck that would happen. But yeah, I just adored Beth and Lincoln, and I would love to hear about them together and happy.

  4. Alisa Selene

    That is a great question! Definitely a no for me because my husband lived in England when we first started dating so a lot of time was spent on the phone with us trying to manage time difference s etc. I wouldn’t trade being in person for anything ling distance stunk! Lol

  5. Jennine G.

    Excellent review! I want to read this now and it hasn’t caught my attention before. I would definitely go back to anything in the past 16 years if I could know what I know now! And I would definitely talk to the 1997 version of my husband again – think of all the things you could talk about that you didn’t think of the first time around!

    Did you really read whole Harry Potter books to your hubby-then-boyfriend over the phone? That is absolutely awesome!

    • Words For Worms

      LOL, I did indeed read HP over the phone to my eventual husband. We’d run out of things to talk about but not want to hang up, so I started reading to him. Super nerdy, but true story.

  6. ThatAshGirl

    I’m looking forward to this but at the same time, was a tad put off when I first read a description because there was a horror movie a few years ago with the EXACT same premise of talking on the phone to someone in the past and at first it was cool, but it spun off into the ridiculous.

    Here’s the movie. It was called The Caller –

  7. AMB

    I’m looking forward to this one! I often don’t mind spoilers, but only when I’m less enthusiastic about the book, and so I’m glad you’re not a monster. 🙂

  8. Athira

    That is definitely a bizarre concept! I love Rowell too and I think I read her Attachments first, loved it, and enjoyed Eleanor and Park and Fangirl next. I have this on hold at the library so I cannot wait to read it!

  9. Katie @ Doing Dewey

    Oh yay! I’m glad to hear that you enjoyed this as much as you had hoped 🙂 I still haven’t gotten to Rainbow Rowell’s books, but I am starting to be convinced by all of the fantastic reviews.

  10. Angie @Angela's Anxious Life

    I can’t wait to read this book!! I have been waiting for my turn to get it from the library. Hopefully I get it before I go on vacation so I can read it at the beach. It would be the perfect book for that.

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