Friday, December 26, 2014

'Landline' by Rainbow Rowell

Whimsical, romantic and with an aching sense of nostalgia, Rainbow Rowell's Landline proves, yet again, this author's wide and brilliant range. Rowell has an indomitably spirited flair first established in Attachments and pursued in "Eleanor and Park" and "Fangirl." Here, Rowell delves into adult relationships and the romance threaded between television writer Georgie and her husband the artistic and somewhat prickly Neal. Their courtship and history is delved into when Georgie finds a way to communicate with Neal in the past. Using the now ancient relic of an old telephone, Georgie finds a way to re-visit her relationship in hopes of setting a path that will help her succeed as the wife and mother she has always wanted to be.

As per always, Rainbow Rowell has an unmitigated talent for stringing the right words in an order surprising, beguiling and

"He kissed her like he was drawing a perfectly straight line. He kissed her in India ink."

There is something so recklessly romantic about the way she pens her tales and yet the romance is carefully set within the realistic. You can believe in these characters. You want to seep into their world and inhabit their spaces. She is also ridiculously, rambunctiously funny and witty and wise and her dialogue snaps, crackles and pops.

"Georgie, you cannot be jealous of Dawn---that's like the sun being jealous of a lightbulb."

To add, Rowell is just adept at making you ache and pine for people who would make the best of friends.

"But Neal kept rubbing his cheek into hers, and it felt so nice---all the soft and hard parts of their faces catching on each other. Cheekbone on brow. Jawbone on chin. Neal's skin was flushed and warm. His hands were holding firm. He smelled like bar soap and beer and fabric paint."

I suppose what draws me to Rowell is the realness of experience. Her words give magic to the ordinary and her deft touch colours in the lines of the commonplace. Yes, there is a lovely retreat to be found in the fantastical magic phone --- but that does little but plod the plot along. The real magic to the book is in the keen way Rowell sees relationships, paints her characters and inhabits their world with a sly, smart smirk that differentiates her from any other living writer.

1 comment:

Gina said...

Glad you finally got to read this one! :-)