Hello, everyone! It’s time to talk about Landline! I’m sorry this post is up so late today. The holiday season has been busier than I thought it would be and I didn’t have a chance to put the post together until this evening.
Also, a reminder that we are reading The Lake, by Banana Yoshimoto for January. A post for nominations for February’s post will go up on Sunday, January 11th. Voting will start on Sunday, January 25th and will last for a week.
I didn’t receive any feedback, so this post will mostly be my thoughts on the book, as well as a few discussion questions that I have. Let’s discuss in the comments and there will be a link up so that you can write a review on your blog if you’d like.
For those who haven’t read the book yet, there will be spoilers in my review and the comments.
I loved this novel! This is the second novel by Rowell that I have read (the first was Eleanor & Park) and I have been so impressed with each one. Out of the two, I think this one was my favorite. I loved that it took place during the Christmas season and I loved that it was about a couple whose marriage is in a tough spot, because I love those types of stories. I like the emotional tension that it creates. And I really felt that with this novel, especially once Georgie started talking to past Neal on the magical phone.
I don’t know where to begin with my thoughts on my this book, so I guess I’ll just start writing and see how they come out. 🙂
First, I really liked the friendship between Georgie and Seth. I saw them strictly as best friends and a creative pair, who have each considered a romance, which in some ways I think would be natural. Especially for Seth, at the place in life that he’s in at the end of the novel. When he told her that he might be interested in romantic relationship at the end, I never really saw that as an admission of undying love for her. I saw it more as him reflecting on life and realizing that he does love her and she’s the only woman he has managed to keep in his life. I don’t even think a romantic relationship would work between them. Georgie definitely needs someone like Neal to balance her work side out a bit and a relationship might have messed with their creative mojo. I loved that he was there for her when she kind of broke down that week and that even though he pushed the episode writing (as he should have), he also saw Georgie’s well-being as more important and was mostly just there to make sure that she was all right at the end.
I think that it was natural for Neal to feel threatened by her relationship with Seth when they were younger, but I wanted to know for sure if that was still an issue and if so, why. You would think that at some point he would have gotten over that. I can see feeling frustrated by it times–especially when she had to work over a holiday–but at some point, you’d think he would no longer see Seth as a threat. Then again, Georgie still saw Dawn as a threat.
I was so conflicted about Neal throughout the book. I loved him. I really loved his relationship with their daughter’s and I loved that he made the decision to quit his job and be a stay-at-home dad. I loved Georgie’s memories of the period of time before they started dating and I loved their phone conversations on the magical phone. But I didn’t understand present day Neal. Like I said earlier, I can totally understand being frustrated, but in this particular instance I didn’t understand why it was such a big deal. This frantic period of work was to take advantage of an opportunity for Georgie to achieve the dreams that she had had since college, so why was it such a big deal now? Maybe it’s the career-focused part of me coming out, but I didn’t understand why he couldn’t just deal with it since it was such a career-defining opportunity.
I also loved the age difference between Georgie and Heather. I know that probably sounds like a weird thing to love so much, but it stood out to me because there’s a twenty-year age difference between my oldest sister and me. I was in my sister’s wedding as a flower girl (I don’t remember it, but I was adorable in the photos) and we look so much alike that people have mistaken us for the other one before (she loves it, I’m not sure about it, ha!). I haven’t seen much of that in fiction, so I was excited to see sister’s with a big age difference.
I feel like there’s more that I can talk about, but that’s all that I had in my notes and I’d love to hear what you thought of the book!
A few questions:
1. It appears as though Neal was always uncomfortable with Georgie’s relationship with Seth and how her career dictated their life (needing to stay in Los Angeles, etc.). Why do you think this particular time it was such a big deal for him? Was it because she had to work over a holiday?
2. Do you think that things were as bad as Georgie imagined them on Neal’s end? Neal appeared to be mad when he left, but do you think he was actually contemplating leaving her?
3. Do you think Seth was actually in love with Georgie? Or is she just the only woman he’s actually kept in his life, which led him to think they could make a romantic relationship work if they tried?
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