May 21, 2015

January (yes, January) - Landline

Why, yes, I did forget to write up our discussion of Rainbow Rowell's Landline in January. You'd think that would mean I couldn't remember the discussion by now (in the same way that I can't remember what I wore to work yesterday so that I could avoid wearing it again tomorrow), but, despite the fact that no one loved the book, we had a really good discussion about it and, even though I can't remember who said what any more, I definitely remember the highlights.

When I say no one really loved this book, what I mean is that many of us really didn't even like it a little bit. The magical phone was only part of the problem. The other major problem was Georgie. Almost no one liked her.

Opinions about Neal were, on the other hand, widely divided. Many of us felt sorry for him. But several of us felt that he was in the situation he found himself because he had allowed himself to be there, because he had never done anything to make his own way. That divide of opinions had us talking over each other trying to make our point.

It was pretty unanimously decided that Rowell may have tried to add too much into the story with the storyline about Georgie's sister, who turned out to be gay. There really appeared to be no need for that storyline, it didn't contribute to the over arcing story in any way we could see other than to show another kind of love.

Some were confused about what had even happened in the book, which is, frankly, a pretty good accomplishment for Rowell in a book that is otherwise not terribly complicated. Lisa S compared it to a Mobius strip - the story line moving through time seamlessly. Several had a problem with the ending of the book, feeling it just did not feel true to the rest of the book.

Lisa S had several passages marked for the wonderful insights into parenting and marriage and we did all agree that Rowell had some real gems in the book and that, as in Eleanor and Park, Rowell's dialogue was terrific. Unfortunately, the rest of the book just didn't live up to Eleanor and Park which was a big hit with the Bookworms.

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