Landline, by Rainbow Rowell

I was not at all sure that I wanted to read this book when I heard about the premise.  But I picked it up to see, and I really liked it a lot.  So--

Georgie and Neal are your average tired and overworked parents in their late 30s.  Georgie has spent years writing for bad sit-coms in hopes of someday scoring the opportunity to write her own show (with her long-time writing partner, Seth), while Neal has taken care of the kids and put up with living in LA.  They're about to leave for a Christmas trip to Neal's home when the opportunity hits--the chance to write a show.  This week.  Georgie can't go.

Georgie and Neal love each other, but their marriage may have crumbled anyway while Georgie was busy working.  In despair, she starts sleeping at her mom's house and tries calling Neal on her old phone, using his mom's landline.  Neal answers, but it's the Neal of nearly 20 years ago.  As they talk every night, Georgie starts to wonder what she is supposed to do with this bizarre time-sliding telephone.  Fix her marriage before it starts?  Convince Neal that he will be better off without her?  What?

What I liked about this story is that Georgie and Neal are so ordinary.  They are good people who love each other, but relentless life pressures and their own personal weaknesses have eroded their relationship away until it's nearly gone, which is a thing that happens to a lot of us.  What I loved is that they both want it back.  That might not be enough, though.  It is a real question whether they can find each other again.


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