Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Landline by Rainbow Rowell

I admit it: I would read Rainbow Rowell's grocery list.

(Actually, I'd read the grocery list and every other kind of list {To Do ... Book Ideas ... Top Five Ways to Get Benedict Cumberbatch to Nebraska} of all my favorite writers because what inquiring mind doesn't want to know what her favorite wordsmiths eat for breakfast and what they plan to do on Tuesday and how they will plot to get Sherlock to town? I realize I'm making an enormous assumption --  that all my favorite writers are list makers -- and I could be wrong. But I digress.)

So. I've been looking forward to Landline ever since ... well, I have no idea. Ever since I heard the words, "Rainbow Rowell is writing a new book and it's going to be called Landline." Because I adored Attachments, Eleanor and Park broke my heart in about eleven different ways (eleven different good ways) and I was rooting for Cath in Fangirl from the moment I heard the name of the book.

Landline did not disappoint. I will admit to having a little more trouble entering into it than I had with Rowell's past books. I'm not sure if that was due to the premise (a struggling marriage ... I just started out sad), the potential gimmick (a magic phone? Or is something else going on?) or the reader on the audio book. (The reader is a very good reader -- I am just a picky listener. My inner theater major comes out, and I huff and say {to myself ... I didn't bother Atticus or startle the jumpy lady sitting next to me in seat 25D} things like, "No! You're doing that line all wrong!") I was listening to the book while flying, then switching to the hard cover when nausea didn't threaten. (Said queasiness had nothing to do with the book or the audiobook reader, I feel compelled to say. Stupid genes. Stupid inner ear issues.) I was much happier, and entered more fully into the book, when I read rather than listened. Rowell's voice was alive on the page in a way it wasn't  -- for me, anyway -- on the audio book.

Anyway...back to the story itself. I am so averse to spoilers (I'm looking at you, Dad. I still haven't seen the third season of Homeland, so you have to stop talking about it) that I don't want to say anything more specific about the book. You can read a summary here.

What I will say is this:

1. The premise is a great one, a worthwhile one, and not a sad one. The "struggling marriage" isn't so much struggling as it is trying to figure out what marriage is and how we keep making it work in new ways, again and again, over time. (And out of time. But I'll get to the magic part in a minute.) I loved the very real illustration of the ways in which we fall in love with people who can be crazy-making (Georgie and Neal have their unique ways of driving each other crazy) but are still crazy in love.

2. The potential gimmick. Time travel? Magic? I had doubts about how that would be resolved, but I was won over. I loved the way this all came together. It worked. It works. It will work. All tenses covered.

3. I still own one of these, so, yeah:

4. Loved the nod (she's done this in past books) to a Nebraska town via a character name. McCool Junction, anyone? (We were actually driving past McCool Junction while I was listening to this book -- we visited my sister in Oklahoma before we took off for Austin.) That was McCool. 

5. The Easter egg! So fun.

Next up from my TBR pile? Michelangelo's grocery list. 


Hallie @ Moxie Wife said...

Oooh, now I'm excited about reading this. I've loved all of her other books but was hesitating to buy this one because of the magic phone issue. I'm so happy you wrote this review. :)

Also, the fact that Homeland Season 3 has not been released on DVD (or Amazon Instant Video) is killing me. KILLING ME.

Karen Edmisten said...

If you loved her others, I think you'll love this, too, Hallie. The phone thing just *works.*

Yes. Killing me, too! Atticus heard yesterday it will be OCTOBER. Bleh.

ellie said...

Well, i'm still number four thrillion two hundred and something on the library hold list. :-) Can't wait tho' .... Myself, I very much enjoy magical artifact / time-turny sorts of stories :-) Really looking forward to this book.

Ah Benedict ....... siiiiigh.

Anonymous said...

This book is at the top of my "to-read" stack, and I can't wait :)