Georgie McCool has just gotten the opportunity of a lifetime: a pilot for her very own TV show, which she co-writes with her best friend. There’s a catch, though: it’s due next week. Right after Christmas. When Georgie decides to skip the holidays and stay in LA to finish writing scripts, her husband Neal takes their two daughters to Omaha without her, leaving her alone for a week. Georgie can’t get Neal to answer her calls until she uses the landline at her mother’s house…but ends up reaching Neal in the past, just before he’s supposed to propose!
Landline explores the length of a relationship from beginning to end, but not necessarily in that order, through the use of slight magical realism in the form of a phone that can call the past. The reader can connect with Georgie in her moments of love and longing, and explore the full spectrum of emotions through this unusual will-they/won’t-they scenario, all the while rooting for Georgie and Neal to come together in both the past and present and fearing the consequences if they don’t. The fantasy element is minimal and the focus here is on Georgie’s life and relationship with her husband Neal. With half its story rooted in the 80s and 90s, Rainbow Rowell’s latest novel is a great choice for GenLit readers, as well as readers of women’s fiction.