From Barnes and Noble: Product Details
Pub. Date: June 2009
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
Format: Hardcover, 352pp
A very different kind of fantasy from New York Times bestselling 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. Her 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.
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.
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This review contains spoilers…
The beginning chapters of this book were a hard read for me because the idea of a married Mormon woman being able to have a male best friend is one I have pondered and decided it just isn’t possible. That being said, I think Becky goes through all of the emotions any typical married housewife with morals would go through and I admire her strength. As I got more into the book I really admired Becky’s relationship wit her her husband Mike. They are still in love after all of these years, they still have a spark and he trusts her enough to let her keep Felix in her life. Her relationship with Felix is just perfect, full of witty lines and funny situations. I cried through the last four chapters at the raw emotion and grief the family went through losing Mike. I love that the spiritual questions were there and were answered through the traditional means of prayer and service without seeming preachy or unrealistic to those not of the same faith.
I hope as Becky has time to heal her loss and she and Felix have time together their love blossoms. In my mind that will be the way it really ends. Felix is not perfect, he makes his occasional mistakes, but what I love about them is that they are always there for each other, they make one another laugh and the romance would be based on ten years of friendship first.Felix takes care of her financially, sweeps her off on vacation, calls her and woos her in the way every woman would love to be wooed. Come on Shannon…give me my fairy tale ending or even a movie. It would be so fun. I will be waiting! I give it a five out of five stars, good clean romantic fun!
My friend MawBooks recorded these and uploaded them to Youtube…Here is Shannon Hale talking about the book at The King’s English Bookstore.