Published by St. Martin's Press on July 8th 2014
Georgie McCool knows her marriage is in trouble; it has been in trouble for a long time. She still loves her husband, Neal, and Neal still loves her, deeply — but that almost seems beside the point now.
Maybe that was always beside 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 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?
My second Libbie Mill Library book club- the Quirky, Questionable & Clever Book Club, read Landline by Rainbow Rowell for our April meeting. I was excited because like our first selection (Where’d You Go, Bernadetter?), I already owned this book, but hadn’t read it yet. Clearing books off my TBR shelf gives me such a rush!
Like the last book, I appear to have liked Landline more than the group as a total did. But I like Rowell’s other books, so I’m inclined to overlook things that otherwise might bother me in books by authors whom I haven’t read before.
The main point of contention was the main character- Georgie was so quirky she could barely function. And Neal, her husband that we’re supposed to care she stays with, is painted in such unflattering strokes the first third or so of the book, that for some people it was too little, too late (not for me though, I totally got why Georgie fell in love with the taciturn hobbit man).
On to the magic phone- it was the one thing we were all pretty much okay with. We agreed that it was good that Rowell didn’t try to explain it. But we were all a little incredulous that a couple together that long never talked about why one of them suddenly proposed to the other one. Yes, we can stretch our imaginations far enough to swallow a magic phone, but a couple NEVER discussing their origin story? Not a chance!
One of the highlights (that we could agree on, at least) was Georgie’s stepfather, Kendrick and her little sister, Heather. The scene with the pizza delivery person and the Pug puppies was hilarious, and we loved it.
I was surprised that more people didn’t like it, but even I thought it started off too slow and sluggish. It was hard to care, because Georgie is so incompetent that you just don’t feel invested in whether or not her marriage falls apart. Some book club members just didn’t bother to stick it out to the end.
We did find a lot to talk about, so Landline made for a good discussion book, but I wouldn’t recommend this book as the first Rainbow Rowell book you read.
At the end of the meeting, Barbie had us say what song or songs we thought went with the book. I choose ‘If the Phone Doesn’t Ring, It’s Me’ by Jimmy Buffett, ‘Telephone’ by Lady Gaga and ‘It’s Beginning to Get to Me’ by Snow Patrol. Here’s what Barbara put together for us:
I’m giving Landline a Midnight Book Rating of :
Our Next Book Selection: