If you had the chance to change the past, and in so doing, alter your entire life, would you?
Those of you that have read my other reviews on novels by Rainbow Rowell know that I truly enjoy her work. She has a distinct writing style that makes the reader feel personally connected to the story and the characters. So much so, it is as if you're sitting there physically and emotionally immersed in the scene and in the conversations.
Landline is Rowell's latest novel and proves once more how well Rowell develops characters and situations that are relatable and ones readers will be drawn to. However, this one has a twist to it that, even before I started reading it, I wasn't sure was going to work.
It's 2013 and our protagonist, Georgie, a successful sitcom writer, is at a crossroads in her life when she must choose between her career and her family. Faced with an unexpected deadline on a chance that she's worked her entire life for, Georgie needs to cancel the family trip to Omaha for Christmas. Her stay-at-home husband, Neal, however, packs up the kids and leaves for grandma's without her. But did he also leave their marriage?
Georgie inadvertently discovers that through the use of an old rotary phone found in her childhood bedroom, she is able to telephone back in time to 1998 Neal. The conversations between 2013 Georgie and 1998 Neal will determine whether or not the two were really meant for each other and if it's too late for Georgie to save her marriage.
"In fact, maybe that's what she was supposed to be doing here - saying everything she could never say to the real Neal." ~ Georgie
At first I was a bit put-off by the plot of Landline. Is it a hallucination that Georgie is able to travel in time via a telephone? Is it magic? Is she having a nervous breakdown? Honestly, we never really figure that out, so in a way, I felt the ending left me hanging. But, probably because Rowell develops such wonderful characters, most of it just works! But my frustration with Neal practically ruined the entire book for me. I couldn't grasp the concept of him turning his back on his wife during the most critical point in her career.
Overall, I enjoyed Landline, but it was not my favorite Rowell novel. The characters definitely draw you in, for the bulk of the novel anyway, but the ending was unbelievable and disappointing. Honestly, I grew tired of it. At some point, Georgie's actions just become uncharacteristic of her true self (but, then again, maybe that was the point) and I was frustrated that she was willing to walk away from her career ambitions to chase after her husband who was acting like a spoiled brat.
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