It is with deep regret that I have to inform you that Landline was a disappointing reading experience. I put this down to a lack of connection with the story, and because I adore Rainbow Rowell I don’t want to write a ‘review’ pulling it apart.
So, instead I bring you an extract from How to Build a Girl:
‘Play this right, and we’ll be fucking millionaires,’ our father said, in a loud whisper.
We ran into the garden, to celebrate – me and Lupin. We swung on the swing together, planning our future.
My mother and my big brother Krissi, however, stayed silent. In our front room, they have seen the future come – and go – before. The future always has different names, and different clothes, but the same thing happens, time after time: the future on comes to our house when it is drunk. The future must then be kept drunk – because the future must, somehow, be tricked into taking us with it, when it leaves. We must hide ourselves in the fur of the future, like burrs – all seven of us – and ride it’s ass, all the way out of this tiny house and back down to London, and fame, and riches, and parties, where we belong.
So far, this has never worked. The future has always, eventually, walked out of the door without us. We have been stuck now, on a council estate in Wolverhampton, for thirteen years – waiting. Five children now – the unexpected twins are three weeks old – and two adults. We have to get out of here soon. God, we have to get out of here soon. We cannot hold on being poor, and not-famous, much longer. The 1990s are a bad time to be poor and not-famous.