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Landline by Rainbow Rowell – A Review

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In Landline by Rainbow Rowell we see another tired attempt at something resembling the romance genre. Unfortunately, romance, it seems, is dead. There are no surprises, no hooks and no intrigue in this novel and nothing much to keep the reader engaged. At points, it is downright difficult to keep reading.

Firstly, we are introduced to our main character, Georgie McCool (not so aptly named, since nothing about her is remotely ‘cool’). We are also introduced to her failing marriage, which almost has more of a character than her and her husband – Neal – combined. The problem is that we see everything from a neurotic character’s viewpoint, so the decisions Georgie makes and the sort of conclusions she comes to – about her husband, about her marriage, about her children and about her life – seem nonsensical and are not well motivated by the author.

When Neal leaves with the children after Georgie tells him she can’t go to Omaha for Christmas, it’s almost a relief. Most of the novel is spent taking his side rather than that of our main character, and it makes for an exhausting read, since every time Georgie makes a decision, it’s almost too much not to scream in frustration at the level of stupidity she displays. In the end, it is no wonder her husband wants to give up on her and save the children from her mental ways.

Throughout the entire novel, you find yourself rooting against the marriage and against the main characters, which makes it entirely pointless to read. If you can’t understand where the main characters are coming from and why you’re supposed to want them to succeed (in this case, with rebuilding their marriage) then it seems as though there is no point in reading the novel anyway.

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