Author: Rainbow Rowell
Published: July 2014
Length: 320 pages
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Rainbow Rowell’s fourth novel Landline brings us the story of Georgie McCool, a thirty-something comedic TV writer living in Los Angeles. From the outside looking in, Georgie appears to have it all – a promising career, a loving husband Neil and two healthy, happy girls. In reality, Georgie’s marriage is strained. She works far more than she should and comes home late each night knowing Neil isn’t happy with how their lives are playing out.
When Georgie finds out that she has a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to pitch her dream project to one of the biggest network producers around, she is ecstatic until she learns that the meeting is set for two days after Christmas, when Georgie is supposed to be on a family vacation in Omaha visiting her mother-in-law with Neil and the kids. Georgie only sees one option, to postpone the trip to Omaha and stay home to work on her big pitch. It isn’t what she wants to do, but turning down this opportunity would be the biggest mistake of her career.
When Neil decides to take the girls to Omaha without her, Georgie begins to realize she may have made the wrong choice. Telling herself it will be fine, Georgie goes to work and does as best she can, knowing she is missing out on her girls. Knowing Neil isn’t going to let this slide. What she doesn’t expect is that Neil avoids her calls. When she calls to check that they got in safely, he isn’t available. She talks to her mother-in-law, the girls, but never Neil (he’s always in the shower, sleeping, at the store). That evening Georgie truly wonders if her marriage is in ruins.When she discovers an old landline phone that can magically call Neil back in their college days, she wonders if she could possibly fix the issues she and Neil have before they take root.
While teetering between desperately wanting to save her marriage and wanting to stay committed to her long time career goals, Georige finds herself constantly worrying about the steps she is taking. Can she really fix this? Is she really talking to Neil from the past or is she simply losing her mind? Will talking to him make a difference? Landline shows us how easy it is to be swept up in in our work and all the noise that surrounds us day to day. How lining up our future, no matter how perfectly we may try to balance it all, can rob us of what’s in the present, what needs our attention now, what might not be there tomorrow. Rainbow Rowell’s other adult novel, Attachments, and her two Young Adult titles, Eleanor & Park and Fangirl are available wherever books are sold.