Landline by Rainbow Rowell
St. Martin's Press / MacMillan Audio, 2014
Format: audio download (read by Rebecca Lowman)
From Goodreads: "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 Georgie — but she doesn’t expect to him to pack up the kids and go home 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 an 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?"
Has there yet been a Rainbow Rowell novel I didn't demand you read instantly? Well, no, of course not. She's an exceptional writer and I vibrate with happiness whenever a new title is on the horizon.
So, since you all heed my very good book advice, you've all got Landline already, and I'm just enthusing for the sake of my own enthusiasm here. Aren't you glad you listen to me? Isn't this book just fantastic? I know, right?
It's a portrait of love, and how love carried over years becomes both more than and less than that initial adrenaline/pheromone rush of falling for someone. Of how holding on to that feeling of falling serves a marriage in the long term. Of how communicating with your partner resonates with all of the communication - and miscommunication - going back to day 1, and looking forward to day 10,000. Of big gestures and little moments and friendship and laughter and jealousy and pettiness and children and in-laws and dead cell phones.
It's marriage, wonderful and traumatic and heartbreaking and real.
And as with her other titles, Rebecca Lowman has taken Rowell's words and the intent behind them, pitching them into an audio version that hits every emotional beat. I love the smile in Lowman's voice when Georgie smiles, and the tension when Georgie worries. Between the two of them, Lowman and Rowell have me in love with love, the kind of love that lasts for decades and is complicated by life, but all the better for that.