Monday, 28 July 2014

Book review: Landline by Rainbow Rowell


My edition: paperback (proof), published on 18 June 2014 by Orion, 354 pages.

Description: 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 besides the point now.

Maybe that was always besides 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?

Rating:



After many recommendations from fellow book lovers, a few months ago I succumbed under the pressure and picked up my first Rainbow Rowell novel: Eleanor & Park. According to many readers this is the holy grail of young adult novels and while I certainly thought the story was cute and the characters refreshing, I finished the book feeling disappointed.

I didn't instantly fell in love with the story, I didn't think Rowell was the second coming and for the first half of the novel I even felt it was bordering on just okay. The second part certainly made up for it with a moving and ultimately heart-breaking ending, but overall I wasn't convinced.

Fast-forward a few months and I got the opportunity to review Rowell's latest offering, an adult novel called Landline. The blurb didn't sound quite as cutesy and immature as her YA novels so, my curiosity piqued, I put myself forward for an advance copy in the hopes that upon my second attempt I would like Rowell's writing more. Well, I didn't just like it... I loved it!

The writing style is refreshing and intriguing while the story is completely different from anything I've read before, making it one of those novels that I remember vividly even months after turning the final page. And for someone who averages about three reads a week, that is a pretty impressive feat by Rowell.

The novel starts off quite melancholic with main character Georgie McCool's (coolest name ever btw!) struggling to find a balance between her time-consuming career and her family. When she has to pick between the two, her choice initially makes it seem as if her marriage is definitely over and it will be a very sad story of a woman destined to be alone.

Yet, when she makes a phone call to her husband's family for the holidays it turns out things aren't quite so straightforward and through a series of mysterious conversations she comes to understand their relationship in a different way - one which may help her find her true priorities in life.

The summary may sound serious and quite depressing but this is actually a moving and heart-warming story, with a tortured main character that despite all her flaws also is incredibly likeable. It's a beautiful novel and a big departure of the cuteness of Eleanor & Park, but still relishes awkwardness and conveys true people that feel immensely relateable to the reader.

And it isn't just a novel about the difficulties of balancing a marriage and parenthood with a demanding career either, there is a surprising touch of magic that reminded me of the books by Cecelia Ahern - a women's fiction author I greatly admire - which attributed to making this a truly imaginative and stand-out novel.

You can purchase a copy of the novel from Waterstones, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.com or your own preferred retailer.



Would you like to know more about the author? You can connect with her online at:

Website: http://rainbowrowell.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rainbow.rowell.author

Twitter: @rainbowrowell


Many thanks to the publisher for providing an copy of the novel in exchange for an honest review.

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