Monday, November 28, 2011
The Actor and the Housewife by Shannon Hale
Mormon housewife Becky Jack is seven months pregnant with her fourth child when she meets celebrity heartthrob Felix Callahan. Twelve hours, one elevator ride, and one alcohol-free dinner later, something has happened…though nothing has happened. It isn’t sexual. It isn’t even quite love. But a month later Felix shows up in Salt Lake City to visit and before they know what’s hit them, Felix and Becky are best friends. Really. Becky’s husband is pretty cool about it. Her children roll their eyes. Her neighbors gossip endlessly. But Felix and Becky have something special…something unusual, something completely impossible to sustain. Or is it? A magical story, The Actor and the Housewife explores what could happen when your not-so-secret celebrity crush walks right into real life and changes everything.
I love Shannon Hale! Her Goose Girl series completely won me over, and I was anxious to read this one. I loved the premise of the book...doesn't every girl dream about meeting her favorite actor? This book had me laughing and crying, sometimes on the same page! I related to Becky- a stay at home mother with writing aspirations. She meets Felix when she flies to LA to speak to an agent about a screenplay she had written. They quickly become best friends and form a bond that strengthens both of them. The story covers the next eleven years showing the ups and downs of both their lives. I loved how both of them support each other and are completely frank and honest with one another. Shannon is hilarious--I loved the banter between Felix and Becky.
I must admit, there were some moments where I did feel a bit uncomfortable...at first I wondered if their friendship was leading to an affair. And it was a little hard for me to imagine having a guy as my best friend...isn't that what husbands are? But as I let my guard down and really let myself just enjoy the story, I found that it was fascinating to see how two people from two very different worlds found balance in each other.
My circle of friends have very different things to say about this book. Some hated the ending, others puzzled over the relationship. But I loved what my friend Bethany said: "This one really won me over, even if I was skeptical with the premise at first. Her characters feel so real, and just when you think she's going to slip into something a little trite, she razzle dazzles you with her quirky word choice or unexpected imagery. Love Love love Shannon Hale!!!"
Shannon wrote an awesome article about her book that I found very interesting. Check it out here: The Actor and the Housewife