Monday, July 13, 2009
Review: The Actor and the Housewife by Shannon Hale
genre: adult fiction/chick-lit (sorta)
When the pregnant and mom-of-three Becky Jack goes to L.A. for the chance of a lifetime, she is randomly introduced to her movie star crush: Felix Callahan. This happenchance meeting leads to a witty and clever friendship that slowly allows Felix to have a small place in Becky's heart. It's a small space, because her life is so full of her loving husband and her kids and her church and her responsibilities and she really loves the life she chose. Right?
But he keeps being in her thoughts and Becky has a lot to sort through. Her husband Mike plays a vital role, obviously, in Becky's efforts to make such a strange best-friendship work. As the story progresses, life becomes less "Mormon Housewife" and more, well, complicated. First and foremost, Becky cares about her relationships and her religion - and making all of these things mesh together in the perfect way is the crux of this book.
I don't know why this book was an enigma for me - for some reason I just never completely believed it. Don't get me wrong, I couldn't put it down - it had me laugh out loud in a couple different places and I found Becky and Felix as characters highly amusing and complex. I liked the comfortable and familiar writing style and I liked reading a book that took place in a world I know well. And though sometimes her portrayal of said world was a bit too cliche for my taste, it fully deserves its four stars. But, maybe it's because I know the "Mormon Housewife" world so well that I just couldn't stretch my imagination quite as far as I needed to so that I could fully appreciate the love stories. I don't think it's Hale's writing - I think it's me. It's totally worth you trying it for yourself.