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September 11, 2014 / Leslie

Review – Audiobook: Landline by Rainbow Rowell

by Rainbow Rowell
Narrated by Rebecca Lowman

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Macmillan Audio | July 2014
Format: Audio CD – 9 hours
Audio Listening Level: Easy
Rating: 4 of 5

Georgie McCool is a comedy writer for a television series. Her work always seems to take priority over her family. Days before a planned trip to visit her husband’s family for Christmas, she had to cancel for a last-minute project. Her husband, Neal, and the kids went to Denver without her. Her marriage is in trouble, and she knows it.

While visiting her mom for Christmas, Georgie uses an old landline phone in her childhood bedroom to call and say hi to Neal and kids. But something isn’t right. Neal sounds different. Somehow Georgie is talking to Neal in the past. Is this her chance to fix things? Or should she change the past, and undo all the complications of the present?

Told in the first person from Georgie’s point of view, the story alternates between the past in the 1980s, when Georgie and Neal first fell in love, and the present, with the now married Georgie and Neal and their two children. Seth, Georgie’s best friend, now co-worker, and constant thorn-in-the-side for Neal, is present in both time lines and at times complicates Georgie’s life.

I enjoyed the author’s writing style with cute, clever dialog and ’80s cultural references. Despite her all her flaws, I liked Georgie and wanted her and Neal to succeed – but not because I liked Neal. We don’t really get to know Neal – what he thinks and what he wants – we only know what Georgie tells us about him.

Part romance and part magical realism, this book should appeal to more than the YA audience it is targeted to. While it does deal with young love, overall it had a more adult feel. Ultimately, this is a story about relationships and families, with characters that felt real. The ending felt a little predictable, but we don’t get answers to all our questions. A few things are left to the reader to decide.

Audio Production
The audio was narrated by Rebecca Lowman. Characters and voices were distinct and I had no trouble remembering who was speaking. Even pacing and a pleasant tone made this an easy listen. At about nine hours, the time zipped by for me.

Source: Review copy
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Leave a Comment
  1. BermudaOnion / Sep 11 2014 8:22 am

    If I’d known Lowman was narrating this, I would have waited for the audio. I have the book in print but still might look for the audio version. I can’t wait to read it!


  2. Suko / Sep 11 2014 1:19 pm

    Terrific review, Leslie! It sounds like you really enjoyed this audiobook, largely due to the characters. (I have a few new audiobooks that I hope to listen to soon!)


  3. Sheila (Book Journey) / Sep 13 2014 9:42 am

    I have this on audio – just have not got to it yet… need to do this 😉


    • Leslie / Sep 13 2014 10:13 am

      It’s a cute story and an easy listen. I think you’ll enjoy it.


  4. diane / Sep 13 2014 11:12 am

    I finished this one recent;y (no review yet) and a;though I liked it, it wasn’t as good as Eleanor and Park – which I loved.


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