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The Actor and the Housewife: A Novel Hardcover – June 9, 2009
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From Publishers Weekly
This successful sophomore turn at chick lit (after Austenland) from YA and graphic novelist Hale sets up a platonic relationship between a dashing movie star and a Mormon housewife. While in Los Angeles to ink a deal for a script she's written, pregnant Becky Jack holds her own against her big screen crush, Felix Callahan, known the world over for charming his way through romantic comedies. Witty banter draws them together, and though they debate what their fascination with one another could mean, an improbable friendship is born. Their alliance weathers the occasional break, Felix's disinterest in children and his indifference toward Becky's Mormon faith; spousal jealousy and the chasm separating their lifestyles also throw an occasional curveball. Hale keeps the prose crackling with humor and has a sure hand in creating nuanced, believable characters, so when otherwise unlikely plot turns creep up—Becky getting cast opposite Felix—they're, well, likely enough. Though Becky just wants to keep her best friend and her normal life, readers will hope she gets nothing less than a fairy tale ending. (June)
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About the Author
Shannon Hale is the author of Austenland, Rapunzel's Revenge, a graphic novel, and five young adult novels published by Bloomsbury: The Goose Girl, Enna Burning, River Secrets, Book of 1000 Days and the Newbery Honor-winning, New York Times bestselling Princess Academy. She is at work on a sixth YA novel, and she and her husband are working together on their second graphic novel, Calamity Jack. They live with their son in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Top customer reviews
Becky, the housewife was very relatable to me. Yes, I am a Mormon housewife and her life sounds a lot like mine (except I don't make pies), but it was more than that. She's not ashamed to be a little cliche and she never apologizes for who she is which made her very likable. Becky is able to build a relationship with the actor, Felix, even though they are almost complete opposites. The real chemistry of the relationship between the actor and the housewife comes from the fact that they don't try to change each other and they respect each other. Their banter is so funny. Honestly, the relationship felt awkward sometimes, but I could really see it happening. It did make me wonder if actors do have "real" friends. One of my favorite scenes was Becky struggling to deal with her crazy kids and the actor just being in awe. It was nice to see her life through his eyes.
Now to what I didn't like. Basically, the ending.
I really wanted it to end differently. Though I can appreciate the fact that the way it did end was very non-cliche and supported the point that the story was trying to make, it left me feeling let down to the point that I kind of wondered what the point of the whole story was. My disappointment is more than just not getting my way. I felt like it hadn't really gone anywhere. Neither of the characters had changed or progressed very much.
Overall, it was an entertaining, witty story and the perfect beach read while I was on vacation. It was pure escapist fun even if I was disappointed with the ending.
Beginning with the fantasy of meeting your famous crush, and actually becoming friends with him, The Actor and the Housewife seems light and fluffy on the surface. While it is not too deep to be an enjoyable escape, it does deal with some weighty issues. What is the line that should never be crossed by friends who are married to other people? How do you deal with rumors and innuendo? What do you do when the person you love the most gets cancer? How do you grieve and help your children grieve at the same time? When (and how) do you move on with your life? I really enjoyed reading it, even though sometimes it was quite an emotional rollercoaster. I highly recommend reading this book!