Thursday, July 30, 2009

The Actor and the Housewife

by Shannon Hale

from Shannon Hale's website:
Mormon housewife Becky Jack is seven months pregnant with her fourth child when she meets celebrity heartthrob Felix Callahan. A few hours, one elevator ride, and one alcohol-free dinner later, something has happened, though nothing has isn't sexual. It isn't even quite love. But soon Felix shows up in Salt Lake City to visit and before they know what's hit them, Felix and Becky are best friends--talk-on-the-phone, drop-everything-in-an-emergency, laugh-out-loud-at-stupid-jokes best friends. Becky's loving and devoted husband, Mike, is mostly unconcerned. Her children roll their eyes. Her large extended family and neighbors gossip endlessly. But Felix and Becky have something special... something unusual, something that seems from the outside--and sometimes from the inside too--completely impossible to sustain.

I'm not quite sure how I felt about this book. I read it very quickly - something that is odd at the moment. So, on the one hand the book at least sucked me in. And, I will admit, I was curious how it would all come together in the end. On the other hand, it left me feeling a bit strange. I tried to explain it all to my husband and couldn't, so I would guess I won't be very successful here either.

In order to enjoy this story at all, you must remember that it's made up and as impractical as the whole thing is (because it is on many many levels) it kind of works if you let it.

Becky is great in her own little way. She's not preachy (most of the time), and I loved her never-ending love for her husband. I love the idea of their relationship. It just made me smile.

Felix didn't do as much for me, though he is quite funny.

I thought the ending worked, though I'm not sure if it's what I wanted or not.

A mostly enjoyable read. Nothing like I expected.


Katie said...

I've been trying to decide if I want to read this book. I read Austenland and came out of it thinking that while it had a few really great moments and I never disliked it really and it was a quick, easy read I wasn't sure that I'd recommend it. I came out kind of dazed, I guess. Does that make sense? Would you say this one is about the same level (easy read with some good moments and a decent, if not wholly realistic, plot)?

KT said...

Katie - I've never read Austenland so I can't give a direct recommendation. But, it sounds like we had similar experiences. I enjoyed the story overall, and there are some funny lines. However, I didn't love it. Your last line pretty much sums it up.

Katie said...

Thank you, KT!

I wasn't finding very helpful summaries for this book, they were a bit confusing and not very encouraging. You also answered the preachy question for me.

I think I'll wait to try this one at the library or if it's on sale.

Thanks, again!

Laura H said...

Finished this one last night and I feel the same as you. But I didnt enjoy it. I feel prudish but the whole relationship made me uncomfortable. I thought as casual friends OK but talk on the phone and alone visits was crap. I wouldnt like it, if my husband had a girl buddy.

Mary said...

My feelings for this book are a lot like yours. I liked it and read it quickly was even moved to tears - but it was a strange book. Felix didn't really do it for me either.