The Actor and The Housewife
By Shannon Hale
Published June 9, 2009
Published by Bloomsbury
Summary taken from Goodreads:
A very different kind of fantasy from New York Timesbestselling author Shannon Hale.
What if you were to meet the number-one person on your laminated list—you know, that list you joke about with your significant other about which five celebrities you’d be allowed to run off with if ever given the chance? And of course since it’ll never happen it doesn’t matter…Mormon housewife Becky Jack is seven months pregnant with her fourth child when she meets celebrity hearththrob 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. H er 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
Gilmore Girls. That is what the book reminds me of- I never could get into the show Gilmore Girls because they all talked like the micro machine man... too fast. I felt like I had a headache after 5 minutes of watching the show. The first 200 pages of this book literally gave me a headache. There is so much dialogue and so many conversations, I found myself having to really concentrate. I can usually polish off a book of this size in a few hours- this book took me a few days, that is how much conversation is in the book.
Now, this was my second attempt at this book. The first time I got 100 pages in and then gave up. I really love Shannon Hale though. Although this was very unlike her other books, I felt like I needed to give it another chance. I am SO glad I did. This book really took almost 250 pages to get "into the swing of things". I felt like there was a steady flow and the conversations seemed to calm down a bit.
I really loved how the characters interacted with each other, and the way the community reacted to their interactions. I loved that this book took place over a long period of time, so that we could see how the characters grew apart and together throughout their years together- it felt very real.
This is a book that is very unlike Shannon Hale's other books- but I really enjoyed it. This is not a mush book- that you can read without thinking. This book requires time, commitment, and thought, but in the end- it is so worth it.
PS- I can see how younger readers of Hale's work may not enjoy this as much- this book is written to a much older audience, who are in a much different place in life. It is good to consider the intended audience when reading this book.