Landline – Rainbow Rowell


Georgie McCool knows her marriage is in trouble. That it’s 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 to 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?



Rainbow Rowell is one of the GREATS. You can read anything of hers and get so sucked into the lives of her people (not even characters. These people are basically alive). Rowell is so versatile. I didn’t really care for the premise, but I read it anyway (because it’s Rainbow Rowell, duh).

I loved everything about Landline. Georgie McCool definitely doesn’t know what to do with her life, but she keeps learning. She gets her priorities straight. She’s in love, love, LOVE. She has the coolest job and the coolest best friend in the universe. She has a wacky mom, an overcaring (and inappropriately young stepfather) and a sister who’s still trying to “figure everything out.” But all of that pales in comparison to the “Important Stuff.” Neal, Neal, Neal.

All of my doubts were addressed. I felt like Georgie didn’t always treat Neal right (and that was the point). Georgie put other aspects of her life first (but not forever). Seth is always there. AND HE’S SUPPOSED TO BE. I was so worried this would be another one of those stories where the protagonist would realize that her best friend was right for her all along (after 19 years and a husband and two kids). But Rowell knows what she’s doing. She sold me on this love story.

I normally hate when we get alternating narratives or a ton of flashbacks. But Rowell incorporated them seamlessly. I guess the present was neglected for the past for quite a while, but the “present” payout was worth it. It was a total schmoozy rom-com gesture, but unapologetically so (like, it actually admitted it!). Moreover, this story was WITTY. It didn’t take itself too seriously. I totally imagine Georgie McCool as a Tina Fey or Amy Poehler-type character. She knew how to “be on” the ball as a comedian, but then we got to see this other side of her—the side of her with Neal. Rowell made everything perfect, even like, “hardcore-nuzzling.” This book would make me laugh on one page and cry on the next.

It made me feel like I was reading about someone’s actual life. Gosh, how does Rainbow Rowell do it?!

Related Reading

  • Attachments – Rainbow Rowell
  • Eleanor & Park – Rainbow Rowell (for the love of misfits)
  • Fangirl – Rainbow Rowell (OKAY, ANYTHING BY THIS AUTHOR)
  • If I Stay & Where She Went – Gayle Forman
  • How to Love – Katie Cotugno

Rating: 5/5


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