Monday, July 13, 2009

Review: The Actor and the Housewife by Shannon Hale


genre: adult fiction/chick-lit (sorta)
rating: 4/5

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.

10 comments:

Hilarie said...

I've been interested in this one. Great review! I also have a couple of awards for you on my blog.

http://nevernotreading.blogspot.com/2009/07/blushing-and-busy-weekend.html

bermudaonion said...

I've read lots of good things about this book, so I would like to give it a try.

Jared & Christina said...

I finished this one a few weeks ago. I have to say enigma is a good word. I loved the witty writing (reminded me of Austenland) but the part about the pinky promise was a little silly to me. I was expecting something more like Austenland but to me it was more of a book of Becky Jack's journey-which is fine. I have to admit though I bawled my eyes out about Mike because I too can relate SO MUCH to the love and joy he and Becky share. :) We'll have to chat more about books soon! :)

Tricia said...

I bawled too. But, there was a fantasy element to it, I agree. Glad you liked it!

Melissa said...

Interesting thoughts, Corinne; I fell for it hook-line-and-sinker, but I can see how it could be a tad bit too much. It was a good book (maybe not her best, but a good book).

Anna said...

I've had my eye on this one. I'm glad you were able to enjoy the book even though you felt the characterization wasn't right.

--Anna
Diary of an Eccentric

Veens said...

sounds good! a little bit of fantasy romance won't hurt i think ;)

Beth F said...

I have it here and I like her other books, so I'll be giving it a try.

Donna said...

I was disappointed that the list of books you've read isn't there anymore. I'd love to have it. Can you email it to me at donna.franklin@noaa.gov

Gerbera Daisy Mom said...

Wow...I thought this book was ridiculous!! I found myself reading passages aloud to my husband so we could mock them together. Made me never want to go to a church pot luck again.

To each her own...

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