Landline is the book I kept putting off reading, because everyone said it was about a “magic phone.” I’m not much for magic or fantasy, but then, neither is Rainbow Rowell, so I was a little curious. One of my friends kept telling me how much she loves it, though, and how it’s not a book about a phone–it’s a book about a marriage, and it’s amazing. So I finally gave it a shot.
Turns out, Landline is my absolute favorite Rainbow Rowell novel to date. She always writes relationships with beautifully complex realism, but here, Rowell writes marriage with acute insight. There is so much of my own (flawed but precious) relationship with my husband in this novel, and I saw a lot of my own myopia in Georgie and my husband’s sense of self-sacrifice in Neal. It was kind of uncanny.
Reading Landline after having come through our own marital struggles may have given me a particular sense of identification, especially as Georgie looked back on the beginnings of love with Neal, when things felt new and strong and easy, and tried to figure out how to make things work like that again. The story is insightful, but still cheerful and full of great characters. I haven’t enjoyed a book so much in a long time.
A bit of strong language from one secondary character. 4.5 stars.