Georgie McCool is a successful sitcom writer. She has a great husband (Neal) and two children (Alice and Noomi) who are both precocious and adorable. From the outside, Georgie’s got everything all together. Behind the scenes, she’s living something that every working parent faces: work conflicting with home life. Over the holiday season, Georgie abandons the family’s plans to visit Nebraska to work on a new pilot. When Neal shockingly takes the children to Omaha without her, Georgie thinks that this time, she’s lost him for good.
During their time apart, Georgie is unable to contact Neal via cellphone calls or texts. She knows he is okay physically, as she speaks with her children and mother-in-law, but begins to become slightly neurotic at the potential loss of her other half. Georgie can’t stand being at their home alone, so she goes to stay with her pushy (but loving) mother and sister. Once back in her old bedroom, her old, yellow landline telephone rings. Neal is on the other end, but it is Neal of the past…the Neal from before they were married. Georgie decides she must find out why she’s speaking to this Neal. She needs to rethink their relationship, and answers the phone every time he calls. Georgie must make some tough decisions; can she change? Does she even want to change? Should she try and change what is going to become of her now, in the present time?
Landline author Rainbow Rowell lets her main protagonists shine, but her supporting characters are where the story truly comes to life. Georgie’s mother and sister provide comedic relief. (If I’m ever in a situation where I have to deliver the puppies of a pregnant pug, I’d love to have Georgie’s clan on my side). Her mother-in-law provides a glimpse into life in Omaha, both in the past and in the present.
The narrator for this audiobook, Rebecca Lowman, reads all of Rowell’s titles. With this entry into the Rowell collection, it’s clear that Lowman has the voice to tell this story. Her reading reflects all of Georgie’s nuances from her self-doubt to her role as reluctant pug nurse. A particularly wonderful character that Lowman reads is Alice, Georgie’s eldest daughter. It’s easy to imagine Alice as a child you’d converse with today, both innocent and too smart for her own good.
Rainbow Rowell is talented enough to cross genres; you may not realize that her books can be found in both our Teen and Adult Collections! Her topics and easy writing style will envelop adult readers and young adult lit lovers alike. Her current title, Landline can be found in our Adult Fiction section, and is available in multiple formats to match your reading preferences.
You can place a hold on the book in the Deerfield Public Library catalog right now. If you have to wait, be sure to check out “You Might Also Like These…” at the bottom of the catalog page.
This review was previously published by the Deerfield Review.