Author: Rainbow Rowell
Narrated by: Rebecca Lowman
Publisher: Macmillan Audio
Publication Date: July 8, 2014
Listening copy via public library
Rainbow Rowell's Eleanor & Park is still crazy popular, and maybe one day it'll be in the library long enough for me to check it out. In the meantime, I listened to the audiobook of Landline.
Landline isn't YA, although an argument could be made that it's New Adult since a good portion happens in flashbacks when the main character, Georgie McCool, is in college.
The conceit of the story is that Georgie's marriage to college sweetheart Neal is at a crossroads, a road that could split off into either divorce or reconciliation. And Georgie is able to talk to Neal -- the actual Neal she knew in college -- on an old landline phone.
Given that conceit, the novel is largely made up of long phone conversations. There's humor and regret and hope in these conversations as the Today-Georgie talks to Then-Neal. She knows the mistakes that she'll make and maybe, just maybe, this is her chance to let Neal go before she makes them. But maybe, just maybe, this is her chance to make things right.
It's a what-if concept that's intriguing and kept me engaged. Georgie and Neal are well-developed, complex, flawed people. There are solid supporting characters, too. Rebecca Lowman does a fine job with the emotion and angst of the story. What I felt her narration lacked, though, was the humor. Lines that I know would have gotten a chuckle if I had read them fell flat as I listened. Georgie makes her living as a comedy writer, after all, and that wry, dry personality needed to come through more.
So depending on the experience that you want, you may wish to read the book over listening to the audio.