Author Rainbow Rowell returns to adult fiction with 'Landline'

Rowell has recently won acclaim for her young adult novels 'Eleanor & Park' and 'Fangirl.'

By , Staff Writer

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    'Landline' is by Rainbow Rowell.
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After the success of her young adult novel “Eleanor & Park,” author Rainbow Rowell is returning to adult fiction with her new book “Landline.” 

Rowell recently made headlines with her young adult novels “Eleanor & Park” and “Fangirl” (Monitor young adult fiction critic Katie Ward Beim-Esche called "Eleanor & Park" the best YA novel of 2013), but she’d previously released an adult title, “Attachments,” in 2011. Rowell’s new novel centers on Georgie McCool, who has been struggling in her marriage for some time. Now she's worried that it’s finally over, when she tells her husband Neal that work commitments will prevent her from going to his family’s house for Christmas – and he takes the trip without her, taking the children with him. However, she soon discovers a mysterious way to communicate with her husband – not present-day Neal, but the man she knew in college. 

Amazon recently named the title, which is being released on July 8, one of the best books of July. Amazon's editorial director Sara Nelson said the book is “light but speaks some deep truths about marriage.”

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“Landline” has also gotten mostly positive reviews from other publications, with Kirkus Reviews writing that “[Rowell’s] characters are instantly lovable, and the story moves quickly and only a little predictably – the ending manages to surprise and satisfy all at once. Though some teens might not be interested in the story, adult fans will love Rowell's return to a story close to their hearts. The realities of a grown-up relationship are leavened by the buoyancy and wonder of falling in love all over again.” Library Journal gave it a starred review, with Julie Kane of Sweet Briar College Library in Virgina writing that “reading [Rowell’s] work feels like listening to your hilariously insightful best friend tell her best stories.” Publishers Weekly was slightly less enamored, writing that “something about the relationship between Georgie and Neal feels hollow, like it’s missing the complexity of adult love, despite the plot’s special effects” but adding that “the pages whip by” and “Rowell is, as always, a fluent and enjoyable writer.”

Rowell recently discussed her new novel with NPR, saying she likes to subvert the idea that a love story is over once the wedding has happened or two characters have gotten together.

“That's a fallacy because they are going to change and change and change," she says. "And you are going to change and change and change. And it's so much more like agreeing to change next to each other.”

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