Landline by Rainbow Rowell
This is the last of my Rainbow Rowell books on my bookshelf (at least until Kindred Spirits arrives). I know Carry On is out there in the world, but I hated that part in Fangirl so it will not make its way onto my bookshelf no matter how much I love all of Rainbow Rowell’s other books.
This is a good story to read if you want something quick, easy and don’t want to think too hard. The plot is predictable, but enjoyable and it had a hint of A Christmas Carol going on in the sense of it being a change-of-ways for the main character. This book is all about appreciating your spouse and considering their feelings on a day-to-day basis.
Here is the summary from the back:
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.
Two days before they’re supposed to visit Neal’s family in Omaha for Christmas, Georgie tells Neal that she can’t go. She’s a TV writer, and something’s come up on her show; she has to stay in Los Angeles. She knows that Neal will be upset with her — Neal is always a little upset with her — but she doesn’t expect him to pack up the kids and go without her.
When her husband and the kids leave for the airport, Georgie wonders if she’s finally done it. If she’s ruined everything.
That night, Georgie discovers a way to communicate with Neal in the past. It’s not time travel, not exactly, but she feels like she’s been given the opportunity to fix her marriage before it starts…
Is that what she’s supposed to do?
Or would Georgie and Neal be better off if their marriage never happened?
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*** Spoilers to Follow ***
I’m not married, but this book did help me appreciate the guys who are super sweet and put in so much effort to make the one they love happy. Neal isn’t the super model, playboy like Seth, and at one point Neal says Seth is Georgie’s soul mate. I had a hard time with that because thinking about the way Georgie’s life would have unfolded if she married Seth would have made her miserable.
Seth is selfish. He needs Georgie’s attention all the time, but doesn’t do anything to support her. If he could have written the scripts by himself he would not have popped up, called or bothered Georgie at all. They are “best friends” because he needs her to make his dream come true. Of course he cares about her and, after spending twenty years working together, he loves her in his way, but he would have ruined Georgie’s life. The decisions Neal made to make Georgie happy would not have been the same decisions Seth would make. They both would have worked long hours in the Writers’ Room and pursued their dream of getting their own show. Georgie and Seth probably would not have had kids because if they did Georgie would be expected to give up her dream to stay at home and raise them or hate having to put her kids in daycare all day AND hire a nanny at night to care for them while she and Seth work.
Seth and Georgie would have fought all the time about work and family. Seth probably would have started up an affair or had a string of lovers. Georgie would have been faithful, but dying on the inside. The kids would act out because their parents suck and Georgie and Seth would have ended up writing for different shows just to get some space.
I think Georgie and Neal work because Neal is Neal. This realization is what made the book so enjoyable. This is also helpful in picking out the Seths of my past and weeding out the Seths of my future to find my own Neal. The one who is doing everything possible to be the best partner for me and all I have to do is be wise enough to recognize it and return the favor.