Local bookstore
When Rainbow Rowell's newest novel came out I had to drop everything and read it, and I almost succeeded in reading it all in a whirl-wind if it weren't for my pesky job. (I've learned my lesson this time. Next time I have a really good book like this, I will definitely be using a sick day to finish it because YOLO)

I wasn't sure what to expect from this book. I knew there was a lot of hype, some of it my own, but I have no idea what it would actually be about. All I know is that I adored her previous novel Fangirl and I liked Eleanor & Park and I'd psyched myself up for this one.

Georgie McCool (yes, that's her name) is a sitcom writer who works along-side her best friend and long time writing partner when their dream project is finally - at long last - green-lighted. The week before Christmas. Christmas: when Georgie and her family had previous plans to visit her mother-in-law in Omaha (somewhere in middle America [which isn't on any "Landline" inspired playlists from what I've seen, but I think it should be]) with her husband and adorable young daughters.
Plans are shifted. Her family leaves the next day without her as Georgie makes plans to stay the week at work, writing new scripts. Her family leaves on less than happy terms, but Georgie decides to push through it at first. But it's not as easy as she thinks. She has so much trouble concentrating on her work and worrying over her marriage that she might as well not be there at all.
Instead of going back home, she stays with her mother - in her childhood bedroom, trying to reach her estranged husband through her old, yellow, garage sale rotary phone. And she does. But rather, not him as she knows him now, but him as he was in 1998, when they were still college sweet-hearts on the verge of breaking up. Georgie is basically given a window to save her marriage by going back into the past.

This could easily be written off as the script for a cheesy ABC or Hallmark original movie; it seems like it's pure fluff. And while certainly it isn't high-brow in concept, there is so much depth if you dig a little deeper. Who hasn't wanted to be given a chance to go back and revive something from our pasts - especially when you're in a relationship that's crumbling. Who hasn't looked up from where they stood and thought "What if I could go back to the beginning and do something different? Would it have made a difference now?" And at a certain stage in our lives, we all think fondly of the times when we were a little cuter, the music was better, and we didn't dwell on the consequences - for Georgie that was 1998.
Maybe this magic phone was real or fantasy within the narrative. You could think of it as a touch of whimsy or a nearly-middle-aged woman fantasizing about wish-fulfillment - and momentarily not knowing the difference. I wouldn't call her "crazy" - when our relationships are on the rocks, we aren't always lucid. That's all there is to it.

I'm a fan of Rom Com's, and I take them very seriously, academically. In the same sense, I really enjoyed this novel. Allow me to explain - in romantic comedy's, though the plots might be trite and stupid, though the actors and actresses are pretty, they are a fantasy. They are just as valid a form of escapism as Star Wars and Game of Thrones. I won't hear any gruff about how Game of Thrones is better than You've Got Mail because that isn't the point I'm trying to make. I mean, we want to snuggle up to those worlds like blankets on a rainy night. Only, Georgie is snuggling up to her own nostalgia.

Did I love it? It was a little "bluh" - granted, the build-up was slow but in the end it was worth it and satisfying. It was relatively quick to read, very perceptive (as usual), but Fangirl is still my favorite.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thoughts by Feast of Poetry & Drink of Prose. All rights reserved.
Blog design by Labina Kirby.