Book Review: Landline by Rainbow Rowell
Georgie and Neal’s marriage is in serious trouble, and when Neal goes away in a huff, Georgie finds she can talk him in the past via a magical landline telephone.
OK, my summary makes it sound hokey, but Landline by Rainbow Rowell is just wonderful.
This is the type of story that gives me starry eyes and makes me want to call my ball-n-chain to tell him I love him with the strength of a thousand suns.
It would probably freak him out if I did that. Or else he’d just roll his eyes and ask what the hell I’ve been reading this time.
Me, while reading Twilight: Why don’t you love me with immortal passion like a vampire?
Me, while reading Me Before You: If I asked you to, would you pull the plug on me?
Me: (trying not to flinch by the startling lack of hesitation)
I love reading stories about what happens after the happily ever after. Sometimes it’s not so happy, or even ever after.
I can feel the connection between Georgie and Neal, but I also feel the divide. It creeps in so stealthily, and before you know it, it’s created almost an uncrossable chasm.
My only hang-up (get it? Hang-up? Hey-ooooo!) is the career vs. love angle. I know it’s a real issue in marriages, but I get so irritated when the main character can only find redemption/true love/the spirit of Christmas at the expense of his or her career.
Why do these stories force an either/or decision?
Why can’t it be both/and? In reality, most people must have jobs. They can’t shrug off the albatross of a career to the swell of music, be swept into their lovers’ arms, and leave the grind behind.
People have to work if they want to eat. Why do some stories not allow characters to have passion and talent for their jobs without making a (not so) subliminal moral message about their misplaced priorities?
Are our personal relationships only validated if we’re miserable all day while at work? Because work’s not really an option. It’ll still be there, even when you’re disgustingly in love.
That’s what bothers me about Landline. This is the biggest moment of her career. Yes, she works too much, but why does the crisis point in their marriage have to happen right when she is about to achieve everything she’s worked so hard for? And why should she have to feel so guilty about something for which she clearly has talent?
She should be allowed to be excited about her success and tuck in to work for a few days to make it happen.
This rant turned out to be longer-winded than I thought. I did deeply enjoy Landline. I love their girls, her sister, her wacky (but not caricaturish) Mom, her best friend.
I wish the ending…
Spoiler ahead. Click the down arrow to view
had been more defined and not dismissed with a “Stop talking and kiss me, you fool! We’ll figure it out!
“Uuuuuuuh, no you won’t, you fool. Not talking about it is what got you into this spot in the first place. Plus, what happens to her show now that she’s missed several crucial days of work and won’t meet her deadline? I’d better stop here before I go back to my rant.
I dialed happily into this story and loved (almost) every minute of it.