Marriage is hard. It’s not puppies, and kittens, and rainbows all day long. Georgie McCool’s marriage is no exception, in fact it looks like it’s heading down the road to splitsville.
Georgie just told her husband Neal that she has to work through Christmas. Never mind that they have plane tickets to Omaha where Neal’s parents live. Never mind that Georgie is always choosing work over family. Neal decides that he’s taking their girls to Omaha, with or without her. This is bad news.
Georgie is supposed to be writing a pilot episode for her dream TV show with her best friend Seth, but she finds herself distracted by her personal problems. Instead of going home and facing an empty house at the end of the day, she stays at her mom’s house. There she discovers a portal to the past, a magic phone that for some reason connects her to Neal back in the 1990s. Is this a gift from the universe? A way to change the past or save her marriage?
Landline is such a real grown up book. I loved it. Okay, so there is a magic phone. Why is this happening? What does it mean? Don’t think too hard about it because it never gets explained. Not that that’s a big deal. Just go with it, it’s not important. The phone gets Georgie thinking about her marriage, how they got together and how things got so bad.
Georgie and Neal’s relationship was never an easy thing to begin with. At first it seemed like he didn’t actually like her. He’s a hard man to read. Then as time went on, Georgie’s ambitions overshadowed everything else in her life. Her dreams were never his dreams. He just rolled with it because he loved her. One of the things I liked about Landline was how Georgie was never painted as a bad person for wanting her career. She’s just between a rock and a hard place. She knows she what she is risking yet can’t find a way to balance everything. She beats herself up as much as anyone. Neal isn’t a terrible guy either. It’s tough to shoulder the majority of the parenting. He’s a stay at home dad and while he’s good at it, he’s never had a chance to do anything else. I could see how it would be frustrating for him. They’re living two separate lives even though they are a couple.
And they LOVE each other. Breaking up because two people no longer love each other is one thing but when two people do love each other but are so different, what is the solution? No magic phone can fix it, they have to fix it. I loved the way the book ends. It’s untidy, like life.
Not only are the characters Neal and Georgie so well done, but the supporting characters are great too: Heather, their mom and stepdad, even Seth. Don’t get me started on Seth. Seth, the man-child, is a real problem. Talk about wanting his cake and eating it too. Grr.
I highly recommend Landline by Rainbow Rowell. I got teary eyed a few times during this one. I really like her adult books, Attachments is another favorite. More, please!