I read Landline in a single day and it was an absolute blast. I’d previously read and loved Rowell’s Fangirl and Carry On, so when I came across Landline in the English-language section of an Israeli bookstore, a girl and her shekels were easily parted. (I’d only gone in to see if they had Harry Potter in Hebrew. They did. For twenty pounds.)
Landline tells the story of comedy writer George McCool, and her struggling relationship with husband Neal. When Neal takes their two children across the country to spend Christmas with his mother, Georgie is left behind to work and question the fate of her relationship. She does this in the totally chill company of her pug-obsessed mother, poolboy-cum-same-aged-stepfather, and younger sister who’s obsessed with the pizza delivery chick. Oh and Georgie also has a magic phone. There is nothing about this set-up that I don’t love.
After realising that the landline in her childhood bedroom can call Neal in the past, Georgie becomes embroiled in the history of her own relationship. She veers from questioning her own sanity, to delivering baby pugs in a tumble dryer. Who wouldn’t want to spend Christmas like that?
I couldn’t stop reading Landline. It has a lot of heart and charm, compelling characters, and such a cool, genre-defying premise. It’s told with wit and warmth, and I know without doubt that I’ll be lending this one out, and reading the rest of Rowell’s back catalogue in due course.
[Read on 17 June 2017]