by Rainbow Rowell
There's this feeling I get when I'm reading a really good book -- that feeling like "Yes, this. This right here - this is why I read!"... A feeling I can't quite put into words but I'm sure other readers will understand without me explaining. You know that feeling? This book gave me that feeling, and many, many other feelings.Summary: Georgie McCool knows her marriage is in trouble; it has been in trouble for a long time. She still loves her husband, Neal, and Neal still loves her, deeply — but that almost seems beside the point now.
Maybe that was always beside the point.
Two days before they’re supposed to visit Neal’s family in Omaha for Christmas, Georgie tells Neal that she can’t go. She’s a TV writer, and something’s come up on her show; she has to stay in Los Angeles. She knows that Neal will be upset with her — Neal is always a little upset with Georgie — but she doesn't expect him to pack up the kids and go home without her.
When her husband and the kids leave for the airport, Georgie wonders if she’s finally done it. If she’s ruined everything.
That night, Georgie discovers a way to communicate with Neal in the past. It’s not time travel, not exactly, but she feels like she’s been given an opportunity to fix her marriage before it starts...
Is that what she’s supposed to do? Or would Georgie and Neal be better off if their marriage never happened?
Basically, this book made me feel all of the things but in the very best ways.
This was the only Rainbow Rowell book I hadn't read yet and I don't know why I kept putting it off -- I guess maybe I thought I wouldn't enjoy it as much as her other books because the characters were much older (i.e. an age I haven't even been yet) so I wasn't sure if I'd relate to their problems as well or that I'd click with the characters as much. Oh how wrong I was.
I lovelovelove the characters in this book -- all of them. I love that it subverts a lot of cliche things, like instead of having Georgie be a stay-at-home mum, she's the one who is out working on her career while her husband is at home with the kids. And her best friend is a guy (I love when male/female friendships are allowed just to be friendships while acknowledging how there can be this expectation there that because they're male and female it should be more). And I loved all of the stuff with her family.
Basically, I just really, really loved everything about this book. And the romantic relationship -- that in particular was done well, because it showed so well that sometimes the person who is most right for us maybe won't be what you or anyone else expected and that relationships change because people change and life changes, and it isn't always easy and sometimes it takes work...and that, in spite of that, it's worth it. We do it because it's worth it.
And the plot -- it should've been hard to suspend disbelief (as these types of stories tend to be) and it should've made it feel less realistic, but it didn't. It was done so well and I read it feeling like I'd read just a regular contemporary in spite of the magical realism element (is it magical realism? I think it is, I could be very wrong). I loved that -- that it didn't make it feel any less grounded in reality.
There isn't a Rainbow Rowell book I haven't loved but I think this one is definitely one of my favourites out of all of them (and, some characters from another favourite of hers make a cameo in this one).
I'd rate the book 5 stars out of 5.