Tuesday, September 16, 2014


rainbow rowell
st. martin's press
published 2014

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.

Georgie is kind of selfish.  Actually, I suppose she is a lot selfish, but aren't we all?  Don't we all take it for granted that the ones we love will always love us?  And it's only when that ideal is threatened do we actually start imagining what life would be like without that love.  Examining the times we left without a goodbye kiss or hung up the phone without saying 'I love you'.

And that's what Georgie is doing now.  Trying to deny that there is anything serious going on while also terrified that everything is terribly wrong.  When she finds herself actually speaking to Neal in the past she believes this, somehow, is how she can fix her marriage in the present.  We move back and forth from the present to the past and Rowell so perfectly captures the thrill of falling in love and the desperation of heartbreak.

I remembered acutely while reading, my first and only real serious break up.  How helpless and heartbroken I felt.  How much it physically hurt, which was the most surprising thing of all.  Reading Landlines reminded me of all of that and more.

The book is soft.  There is no harsh morals or shocking situations.  It is a love story, a real love story full of highs and lows and reality.  HA!  Reality with a magic phone...

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