The Actor and the Housewife, by Shannon Hale

The Actor and the HousewifeThe Actor and the Housewife, Finished 5-9-12, rating 3.75/5, 339 pages, pub. 2009

Becky is a happily married mother of four who flies from her home in Utah to Los Angles to sell her screenplay.  That fact alone is very fortuitous, so imagine her feeling of good luck that she should meet her celebrity crush while there.  Felix Callahan, he of the romantic comedy that Becky watches over and over.  Sparkly conversation ensues and the two find themselves drawn to each other, even though both are happily married.  They each recognize an understanding in the other and suddenly it doesn’t seem all that strange that a stay-at-home mom and an A-list actor are the best of friends.

Their story encompassed almost a dozen years as their relationship goes through highs and lows, working together for months at a time to long absences where they are not speaking.  The book aims to cover the oft asked question of whether men and women can just be friends.  Becky’s initial waffling on the issue went on too long for me.  As much as I loved the dialogue between Becky and Felix, the actual story and the going back and forth started to bore me.  I loved the friendship itself and when Becky was on the page with Felix it was fun.  The rest of the time seemed to be almost filler.  As much as I liked her family, not one person was as interesting as Felix so they sort of blended into the landscape of the story.

This is ultimately Becky’s story and I had mixed reactions to her.  I liked her quick wit and committment to family.  She did not take her friendship with Felix lightly and with a heavy heart walked away from it when her saintly husband had a problem.  I guess my problem with Becky is that I just didn’t believe her.

The story was pure fantasy, except for the chapter that made me cry-that was just wrong.  If you look at it like a fantasy you might not be bothered by the improbability of it all.  Oh, I did like the Mormon aspects to the story.  I thought it was well done and wish more stories could incorporate religion this well without becoming a religious story.  It was refreshing.

I feel like I’m vacillating as much as Becky!  I liked it, but was put off by the back and forth and the complete ridiculousness of some of the plot.  This book from from my own shelves.

So, fess up.  Who is YOUR celebrity crush? Over the years mine have ranged from Joe Montana to Johnny Depp.

12 thoughts on “The Actor and the Housewife, by Shannon Hale

  1. rhapsodyinbooks says:

    I remember really liking this but I don’t remember much else about it, except agreeing that it wasn’t realistic. But your review makes me interested in reading it again to see if I think what you do! :–)

  2. hmsgofita says:

    Haven’t read it, but hear good and bad things, but I don’t think the story interests me enough to actually go out and read it. I’m just fascinated to hear what others have to say about it. Great review, though! I’ve got a couple…Josh Jackson and David Boreanaz! Johnny Depp is a good one, though!

  3. BermudaOnion says:

    Hm, I didn’t realize this book has Mormon aspects to it. As far as celebrity crushes, mine have ranged from Kevin Costner to Ryan Gosling, and yes, I know I’m too old for the latter.

  4. Jenners says:

    This IS my secret fantasty … I just know that Robert Pattinson/Robert Downey Jr/Paul Rudd/Brad Pitt/George Clooney etc. would just LOVE me if they had the chance to meet me and hang out with me. Methinks I flatter myself though. : )

  5. christina says:

    I actually really enjoyed this one and remember I was surprised that I did like it so much. It was my first Hale (I still don’t think that I’ve read any of her middle grades books). Oh and I was bawling at what I can only imagine be the part you loosely mentioned. And it was unexpected. Argh.

    As far as celebrity crush goes…Johnny Depp hands down. I’ve had a “relationship” with him since I was 12. So we’re looking at 23 years! LOL. My classroom is all decked out in JD style because he is my official “co-teacher”. I’m sure he would be surprised to hear that. 😉

  6. Staci@LifeintheThumb says:

    I have had this one on my shelves for a very long time! I really enjoy Hale’s writing so I don’t know what I’m waiting for? Secret fantasy crush? That I would marry John Taylor from Duran Duran. Well, at least we have the same last name!

  7. boardinginmyforties says:

    I think the uneven quality to this one would drive me a bit nutty so not sure I would rush to read it. My celebrity crush is George Clooney!

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