Landline by Rainbow Rowell [Recommended Read #1]

What is it about:

TV writer Georgie McCool can’t actually visit the past; all she can do is call it, and hope it picks up. When Georgie discovers a magical phone, all she wants to do is make things right with her husband. Maybe she can fix the things in their past that seem unfixable in the present. Maybe this phone is giving her a second chance to start over… but does she want to start over?

A heart warming and hilarious tale of two people; married but falling apart in the present, broken but in love in the past.

Why I loved it

The book gives a beautiful insight in the mind of a working woman who stays up late in office for work while her husband is the one taking care of the kids. The usual dynamics are changed, but her heart is still that of a woman and a mother, and she is consumed with guilt for not giving her family enough time.

These are Georgie’s casual thoughts one night…

Of course Neal [her husband] would get custody. Neal already had custody. Neal and Alice and Noomi [her daughters]—they were a closed system, an independent organism. Neal took them to school, Neal took them to the park, Neal gave them baths.
Georgie came home for dinner.
Most nights.

Rainbow Rowell uses metaphors that hit the nail right in the head. Georgie’s fear that she’s the reason for the unhappiness in their marriage—the reason for her husband’s unhappiness—is written in a way that’s not obvious, but still is…

He [Neal] didn’t say he was unhappy. He just wore it, breathed it. Held it between them. Rolled away from it in his sleep.

Georgie was Neal’s anchor but not the good kind. Not the happy anchor that keeps you safe and grounded, the one you get tattooed across your chest. Georgie was dead weight.

Afterthought

It is an unusual tale that is wonderfully written. I am usually not the person who writes or highlights in the book, but this time I ended up marking most parts because I couldn’t help myself. I wanted to make sure whenever I opened the book the next time, I’d end up reading them all over again. Some highlights were for the way a thought was expressed, some for the choice of words, some for how well the expression or metaphor fit and some because the sentence was simply sigh-worthy.

STARS: 5

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