By Rainbow Rowell
(St. Martin's Press, Hardcover, 9781250049377, 320pp.)
Publication Date: July 8, 2014
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A New York Times Best Seller! Goodreads Choice Award Winner for Best Fiction of 2014! An Indie Next Pick!
From New York Times bestselling author of Eleanor & Park and Fangirl, Rainbow Rowell, comes a hilarious, heart-wrenching take on love, marriage, and magic phones.
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 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 lives in Omaha, Nebraska, with her husband and two sons. She's also the author of Fangirl, Eleanor & Park, and Attachments.
The author's female leads are plus-sized, and sometimes, instead of falling in love, they are just trying to stay in it. Her new book, Landline, opens with a marriage on the verge of collapse. More at NPR.org
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The magic phone becomes Ms. Rowell's way to rewrite 'It's a Wonderful Life'…what that film accomplished with an angel named Clarence, Ms. Rowell accomplishes with a quaint old means of communication, and for her narrative purposes, it really does the trick.
While the topic might have changed, this is still Rowell--reading her work feels like listening to your hilariously insightful best friend tell her best stories.
Her characters are instantly lovable, and the story moves quickly…the ending manages to surprise and satisfy all at once. Fans will love Rowell's return to a story close to their hearts.
Rowell is, as always, a fluent and enjoyable writer--the pages whip by.
Keen psychological insight, irrepressible humor and a supernatural twist: a woman can call her husband in the past.
The dialogue flows naturally; it's zippy, funny, and fresh. The flirtation between young Georgie and Neal is genuinely romantic.
After the blazing successes of Eleanor & Park, Fangirl and Attachments, it's become clear that Rowell is an absolute master of rendering emotionally authentic and absorbing stories...While the novel soars in its more poignant moments, Rowell injects the proper dose of humor to keep you laughing through your tears.
To skip her work because of its rom-com sheen would be to miss out on the kind of swift, canny honesty of that passage, which is typical of the pleasures of Landline -- it's a book that's a joy from sentence to sentence, and on that intimate level there's absolutely nothing unoriginal or clichéd in the way Rowell thinks. Her work is dense with moments of sharp observation…and humor.
But a focus on the endings is the wrong one when you're reading a book of Rowell's. What matters most are the middles, which she packs with thoughtful dissections of how we live today, reflections upon the many ways in which we can love and connect as humans, and tacit reassurances of the validity of our feelings regardless of our particular experiences.
Landline might not have any teenage protagonists, but it does have all the pleasures of Rowell's YA work -- immediate writing that's warm and energetic
More gentle, more real than Douglas Coupland, more smooth and also more clever than Helen Fielding. Truly, slowly, sweetly gorgeous.