Landline: A Novel by Rainbow RowellLandline: A Novel by Rainbow Rowell

Landline: A Novel

byRainbow Rowell

Paperback | July 7, 2015

Pricing and Purchase Info

$16.94 online 
$18.50 list price save 8%
Earn 85 plum® points

Prices and offers may vary in store


In stock online

Ships free on orders over $25

Available in stores


#1 New York Times bestselling author! A New York Times Best Seller! Goodreads Choice Award Winner for Best Fiction of 2014! An Indie Next Pick!


As far as time machines go, a magic telephone is pretty useless.

TV writer Georgie McCool can't actually visit the past -- all she can do is call it, and hope it picks up.

And hope he picks up.

Because once Georgie realizes she has a magic phone that calls into the past, all she wants to do is make things right with her husband, Neal.

Maybe she can fix the things in their past that seem unfixable in the present. Maybe this stupid phone is giving her a chance to start over ...

Does Georgie want to start over?

From Rainbow Rowell, the New York Times bestselling author of Eleanor & Park and Fangirl, comes this heart-wrenching - and hilarious - take on fate, time, television and true love.

Landline asks if two people are ever truly on the same path, or whether love just means finding someone who will keep meeting you halfway, no matter where you end up.

Rainbow Rowell writes books. Sometimes she writes about adults (Attachments and Landline). Sometimes she writes about teenagers (Eleanor & Park, Fangirl and Carry On). But she always writes about people who talk a lot. And people who feel like they're screwing up. And people who fall in love.When she's not writing, Rainbow is reading ...
Title:Landline: A NovelFormat:PaperbackDimensions:320 pages, 8.28 × 5.42 × 0.86 inPublished:July 7, 2015Publisher:St. Martin's PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1250049547

ISBN - 13:9781250049544

Look for similar items by category:


Rated 1 out of 5 by from I am so utterly disappointed I love all of Rainbow Rowell's book but this one left me empty and wanted in all the worst ways. I didn't care at all for any of the characters or what happened to them
Date published: 2018-07-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I loved this! It's about marriage, relationships, compromise, and love. I absolutely loved the entire book and I absolutely loved listening to the audiobook. I was hooked the moment it started.
Date published: 2018-04-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved! this book needs to be a movie because it will be my new favourite Christmas movie. I loved this book! I loved the interaction and the flashbacks with Georgie and Neal. I just loved Georgie and Neal. And Noomi with her meowing. I loved it! It was sooo good, I loved the characters and the conversations and the suspense with the possible-magic-phone-time-altering. sigh. I loved it
Date published: 2018-02-01
Rated 4 out of 5 by from really enjoyed heartbreaking but sweet! super funny too
Date published: 2017-11-27
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Enjoyed it This was my first Rainbow Rowell book. I quite enjoyed it and it's a fun idea.
Date published: 2017-10-20
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Landline by Rainbow Rowell I couldn't get involved in it at all. Seemed kind of juvenille...the fact that the main character writes for the really bad children tv shows didn't help...I've loved all Rainbow Rowell's other books, but this one just didn't do it for me. The premise was ridiculous and I hated pretty much every character except Heather. Especially Neal, GOD I hated Neal, what an awful, miserable person. I'm really confused as to how he's supposed to be an appealing character since he's not even described with any redeeming qualities really - a short, fat guy who never laughs, smiles or expresses his feelings in any way, apart from just silently projecting misery and resentment at his wife without ever actually bringing up the fact that anything is wrong. Every woman's dream! I couldn't understand why Georgie would have even wanted to marry him in the first place, let alone save their marriage which sounds horrible and depressing.
Date published: 2017-08-15
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Decent A decent, simple story. Rainbow Rowell has a way of writing that flows so well and is easy to gobble up in one sitting. The idea behind Landline was cute, I suppose, but ultimately lacked explanation for the odd time-lapse portion. Not a heck of a lot happened, as the novel took place over a week, but the writing was still enjoyable and the plot was nice.
Date published: 2017-07-03
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Landline I’m not sure the concept was as fleshed out as it might have been, and Georgie didn’t necessarily end up with the person I preferred her with, still, this author is so good with emotion and quirks that I was mostly able to overlook whatever issues I had and just enjoy her writing style. #plumreview
Date published: 2017-04-17
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good Not my favourite RR novel but definitely still good. #plumreview
Date published: 2017-04-07
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good! I really enjoyed this good. It was a good concept and well executed
Date published: 2017-02-28
Rated 3 out of 5 by from eh was overall enjoyable but wasnt satisfying or a very good execution, not her best work but love her other works.
Date published: 2017-02-14
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Not my favorite Usually love Rainbow Rowell, but wasn't the biggest fan of this one. Cute story but hard to like characters. Check out her other books first.
Date published: 2017-02-10
Rated 4 out of 5 by from interesting concept This was well executed and a fun read.
Date published: 2017-02-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from perfect Too good!!! Loved every part
Date published: 2017-02-03
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Interesting Rowell's books are known to being different. If you love contemporary novels, this is a really good one. It was a little confusing with the different phone calls but after a while you get the hang of it.
Date published: 2017-01-31
Rated 5 out of 5 by from So much emotions This book gave me so much emotions at the same time; sadness when Georgie's marriage looks bad, happiness when reading about how they had fallen in love and spent their young days together. It was absolutely amazing and I enjoyed it a lot.
Date published: 2017-01-24
Rated 3 out of 5 by from meh This was just okay.... I didn't really like any of the characters and was only interested in the phone calls. I was also very distracted the entire time, my thought through the whole book was "if you really want to fix things, call his mother and MAKE her get your husband on the phone, you're not 15, you're married and shouldn't be afraid to GET HIM ON THE ******* PHONE".#plumreview
Date published: 2017-01-22
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A Great Read Rainbow once again delivers characters that are both intriguing and familiar, in the best way!
Date published: 2017-01-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A light and great read! I really liked this book. More than I expected I would. I think it's the unexpected twist of fantasy in it that I enjoyed quite a lot. I really appreciate Rainbow Rowell's writing style and I like the way she explores so many different aspects of life and that her books correspond to many different genres. They also come in many shapes and sizes (much like her characters.
Date published: 2017-01-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Another great read by Rainbow Rowell This is one of RR's more adult novels despite the time machine/magic telephone thing because you see the protagonist struggling with her marriage as she's trying to figure out her priorities. It is still a fun read. As always, her characters are vivid and engaging. It also features a cameo from her novel Fangirl!
Date published: 2016-12-07
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Ok Not a favourite #plumreview
Date published: 2016-12-03
Rated 3 out of 5 by from It was okay. This book was well-written, but overall it was okay.
Date published: 2016-11-28
Rated 3 out of 5 by from For fans of Rainbow Rowell This is my least favourite Rainbow Rowell's books, though it was still enjoyable. If you are a fan of her books, then you will enjoy it.
Date published: 2016-11-28
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Did not like it I am very surprised that Rainbow Rowell wrote this. Normally her characters are very likeable, very relatable, and often very original. I didn't like any of the characters in Landline. They were boring, had no personality, and I found it impossible to care about them. The story took forever to get started. This is supposed to be a magical realism story but it took too long to get to the "magic telephone." If you are a die-hard Rainbow Rowell fan like I am then I suggest you get this book at a library rather than spend money on it. I absolutely love all her books but I actually disliked this one.
Date published: 2016-11-28
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Good read Not my favourite from Rowell, but it was a good read
Date published: 2016-11-10
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Call me, Maybe? After reading and enjoying FanGirl, I thought I would pick up another Rainbow Rowell book, so Landline was my second. The premise is a bit campy, but it has enough mystery and feelings to keep you hooked to the end. She's a good enough writer that it didn't feel like a struggle reading or finishing this book.
Date published: 2016-11-04

Read from the Book

CHAPTER 1 Georgie pulled into the driveway, swerving to miss a bike.Neal never made Alice put it away.Apparently bicycles never got stolen back in Nebraska—and people never tried to break in to your house. Neal didn’t even lock the front door most nights until after Georgie came home, though she’d told him that was like putting a sign in the yard that said PLEASE ROB US AT GUNPOINT. “No,” he’d said. “That would be different, I think.”She hauled the bike up onto the porch and opened the (unlocked) door.The lights were off in the living room, but the TV was still on. Alice had fallen asleep on the couch watching Pink Panther cartoons. Georgie went to turn it off and stumbled over a bowl of milk sitting on the floor. There was a stack of laundry folded on the coffee table—she grabbed whatever was on the top to wipe it up.When Neal stepped into the archway between the living room and the dining room, Georgie was crouched on the floor, sopping up milk with a pair of her own underwear.“Sorry,” he said. “Alice wanted to put milk out for Noomi.”“It’s okay, I wasn’t paying attention.” Georgie stood up, wadding the wet underwear in her fist. She nodded at Alice. “Is she feeling okay?”Neal reached out and took the underwear, then picked up the bowl. “She’s fine. I told her she could wait up for you. It was this whole negotiation over eating her kale and not using the word ‘literally’ anymore because it’s literally driving me crazy.” He looked back at Georgie on his way to the kitchen. “You hungry?”“Yeah,” she said, following him.Neal was in a good mood tonight. Usually when Georgie got home this late … Well, usually when Georgie got home this late, he wasn’t.She sat at the breakfast bar, clearing a space for her elbows among the bills and library books and second-grade worksheets.Neal walked to the stove and turned on a burner. He was wearing pajama pants and a white T-shirt, and he looked like he’d just gotten a haircut—probably for their trip. If Georgie touched the back of his head now, it’d feel like velvet one way and needles the other.“I wasn’t sure what you wanted to pack,” he said. “But I washed everything in your hamper. Don’t forget that’s it’s cold there—you always forget that it’s cold.”She always ended up stealing Neal’s sweaters.He was in such a good mood tonight.… He smiled as he made up her plate. Stir-fry. Salmon. Kale. Other green things. He crushed a handful of cashews in his fist and sprinkled them on top, then set the plate in front of her.When Neal smiled, he had dimples like parentheses—stubbly parentheses. Georgie wanted to pull him over the breakfast bar and nose at his cheeks. (That was her standard response to Neal smiling.) (Though Neal probably wouldn’t know that.)“I think I washed all your jeans…,” he said, pouring her a glass of wine.Georgie took a deep breath. She just had to get this over with. “I got good news today.”He leaned back against the counter and raised an eyebrow. “Yeah?”“Yeah. So … Maher Jafari wants our show.”“What’s a Maher Jafari?”“He’s the network guy we’ve been talking to. The one who green-lit The Lobby and that new reality show about tobacco farmers.”“Right.” Neal nodded. “The network guy. I thought he was giving you the cold shoulder.”“We thought he was giving us the cold shoulder,” Georgie said. “Apparently he just has cold shoulders.”“Huh. Wow. That is good news. So—” He cocked his head to the side. “—why don’t you seem happy?”“I’m thrilled,” Georgie said. Shrilly. God. She was probably sweating. “He wants a pilot, scripts. We’ve got a big meeting to talk casting.…”“That’s great,” Neal said, waiting. He knew she was burying the lead.Georgie closed her eyes. “… on the twenty-seventh.”The kitchen was quiet. She opened them. Ah, there was the Neal she knew and loved. (Truly. On both counts.) The folded arms, the narrowed eyes, the knots of muscle in both corners of his jaw.“We’re going to be in Omaha on the twenty-seventh,” he said.“I know,” she said. “Neal, I know.”“So? Are you planning to fly back to L.A. early?”“No, I … we have to get the scripts ready before then. Seth thought—”“Seth.”“All we’ve got done is the pilot,” Georgie said. “We’ve got nine days to write four episodes and get ready for the meeting—it’s really lucky that we have some time off from Jeff’d Up this week.”“You have time off because it’s Christmas.”“I know that it’s Christmas, Neal—I’m not skipping Christmas.”“You’re not?”“No. Just skipping … Omaha. I thought we could all skip Omaha.”“We already have plane tickets.”“Neal. It’s a pilot. A deal. With our dream network.”Georgie felt like she was reading from a script. She’d already had this entire conversation, almost verbatim, this afternoon with Seth.… “It’s Christmas,” she’d argued. They were in their office, and Seth was sitting on Georgie’s side of the big L-shaped desk they shared. He’d had her cornered.“Come on, Georgie, we’ll still have Christmas—we’ll have the best Christmas ever after the meeting.”“Tell that to my kids.”“I will. Your kids love me.”“Seth, it’s Christmas. Can’t this meeting wait?”“We’ve already been waiting our whole career. This is happening, Georgie. Now. It’s finally happening.”Seth wouldn’t stop saying her name.Neal’s nostrils were flaring.“My mom’s expecting us,” he said.“I know,” Georgie whispered.“And the kids … Alice sent Santa Claus a change-of-address card, so he’d know she’d be in Omaha.”Georgie tried to smile. It was a weak effort. “I think he’ll figure it out.”“That’s not—” Neal shoved the corkscrew in a drawer, then slammed it shut. His voice dropped. “That’s not the point.”“I know.” She leaned over her plate. “But we can go see your mom next month.”“And take Alice out of school?”“If we have to.”Neal had both hands on the counter, clenching the muscles in his forearms. Like he was retroactively bracing himself for bad news. His head was hanging down, and his hair fell away from his forehead.“This might be our shot,” Georgie said. “Our own show.”Neal nodded without lifting his head. “Right,” he said. His voice was soft and flat.Georgie waited.Sometimes she lost her place when she was arguing with Neal. The argument would shift into something else—into somewhere more dangerous—and Georgie wouldn’t even realize it. Sometimes Neal would end the conversation or abandon it while she was still making her point, and she’d just go on arguing long after he’d checked out.Georgie wasn’t sure whether this even qualified as an argument. Yet.So she waited.Neal hung his head.“What does ‘right’ mean?” she finally asked.He pushed off the counter, all bare arms and square shoulders. “It means that you’re right. Obviously.” He started clearing the stove. “You have to go to this meeting. It’s important.”He said it almost lightly. Maybe everything was going to be fine, after all. Maybe he’d even be excited for her. Eventually.“So,” she said, testing the air between them. “We’ll see about visiting your mom next month?”Neal opened the dishwasher and started gathering up dishes. “No.”Georgie pressed her lips together and bit them. “You don’t want to take Alice out of school?”He shook his head.She watched him load the dishwasher. “This summer, then?”His head jerked slightly, like something had brushed his ear. Neal had lovely ears. A little too big, and they poked out at the top like wings. Georgie liked to hold his head by his ears. When he’d let her.She could imagine his head in her hands now. Could feel her thumbs stroking the tops of his ears, her knuckles brushing against his clippered hair.“No,” he said again, standing up straight and wiping his palms on his pajama pants. “We’ve already got plane tickets.”“Neal, I’m serious. I can’t miss this meeting.”“I know,” he said, turning toward her. His jaw was set. Permanently.Back in college, Neal had thought about joining the military; he would have been really good at the part where you have to deliver terrible news or execute a heartbreaking order without betraying how much it was costing you. Neal’s face could fly the Enola Gay.“I don’t understand,” Georgie said.“You can’t miss this meeting,” he said. “And we already have plane tickets. You’ll be working all week anyway. So you stay here, focus on your show—and we’ll go see my mom.”“But it’s Christmas. The kids—”“They can have Christmas again with you when we get back. They’ll love that. Two Christmases.”Georgie wasn’t sure how to react. Maybe if Neal had been smiling when he said that last thing … He motioned at her plate. “Do you want me to heat that back up for you?”“It’s fine,” she said.He nodded his head, minimally, then brushed past her, leaning over just enough to touch his lips to her cheek. Then he was in the living room, lifting Alice up off the couch. Georgie could hear him shushing her—“It’s okay, sweetie, I’ve got you”—and climbing the stairs. Copyright © 2014 by Rainbow Rowell

Editorial Reviews

"The magic phone becomes Ms. Rowell's way to rewrite 'It's a Wonderful Life'.what that film accomplished with an angel named Clarence, Ms. Rowell accomplishes with a quaint old means of communication, and for her narrative purposes, it really does the trick." -The New York Times"While the topic might have changed, this is still Rowell--reading her work feels like listening to your hilariously insightful best friend tell her best stories." -Library Journal, starred review on Landline"Her characters are instantly lovable, and the story moves quickly.the ending manages to surprise and satisfy all at once. Fans will love Rowell's return to a story close to their hearts." -Kirkus Reviews on Landline"Rowell is, as always, a fluent and enjoyable writer--the pages whip by." -Publishers Weekly on Landline"Keen psychological insight, irrepressible humor and a supernatural twist: a woman can call her husband in the past." -Time Magazine on Landline"The dialogue flows naturally; it's zippy, funny, and fresh. The flirtation between young Georgie and Neal is genuinely romantic." -Boston Globe"After the blazing successes of Eleanor & Park, Fangirl and Attachments, it's become clear that Rowell is an absolute master of rendering emotionally authentic and absorbing stories...While the novel soars in its more poignant moments, Rowell injects the proper dose of humor to keep you laughing through your tears." -RT Book Reviews on Landline"To skip her work because of its rom-com sheen would be to miss out on the kind of swift, canny honesty of that passage, which is typical of the pleasures of Landline -- it's a book that's a joy from sentence to sentence, and on that intimate level there's absolutely nothing unoriginal or clichéd in the way Rowell thinks. Her work is dense with moments of sharp observation.and humor." -Chicago Tribune Printers Row"But a focus on the endings is the wrong one when you're reading a book of Rowell's. What matters most are the middles, which she packs with thoughtful dissections of how we live today, reflections upon the many ways in which we can love and connect as humans, and tacit reassurances of the validity of our feelings regardless of our particular experiences." on Landline"Landline might not have any teenage protagonists, but it does have all the pleasures of Rowell's YA work -- immediate writing that's warm and energetic""More gentle, more real than Douglas Coupland, more smooth and also more clever than Helen Fielding. Truly, slowly, sweetly gorgeous." -The Globe & Mail