Deirdre's Reviews > The Actor and the Housewife

The Actor and the Housewife by Shannon Hale
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's review
Aug 24, 09

really liked it
Read in July, 2009

Since finishing this book (which I did very easily, it's a quick and entertaining read) I have been struggling with how to review it. On the one hand, it's a fun tale about a normal woman who has the unlikely good fortune to meet her celebrity crush and actually find a meaningful friendship with him. Their banter is witty and their improbable friendship weathers the occasional storm just like any relationship, with spousal jealousies, the demands of work and family and general differences of opinion getting in the way. The story is often laugh-out-loud funny, and the characters are endearing in their own strange ways.

On the other hand, there were many times while reading that I wanted to just shake the book, or the characters within it, for the completely unrealistic moral overtones that I found leaping from most of the pages. Are there really people out there who believe it impossible for married women to have male friends, or vice versa? Are there families out there who would stage minor interventions because a sibling had a friend and the rest feared for her moral soul? I have no problem with storylines that contain religion or spirituality, but I want the devotion to seem realistic, I want to believe that the characters are people of faith, but real people. With this book I'm just not sure I bought it.

All that being said, I definitely recommend this book - it's not your standard chick-lit, the main character being far less independent than most heroines of the genre - if nothing else you'll have a good laugh.
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Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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message 1: by Amy (last edited Aug 29, 2009 01:13PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Amy Just read your review and in the spirit of conversation wanted to add that yes, there are a lot of people out here that believe starting new friendships with members of the opposite sex after marriage is at the very least inconsiderate to one's spouse. I think Hale handled the idea well in "Actor...Housewife" but Becky's situation was specific and hardly a model for the masses. Just my two cents...

Whitney All I can say is that my husband (while very supportive of anything and everything I've ever wanted to do) would not be supportive of me flying off to visit some other guy. Even if the guy was really unattractive. But especially during the time when his marriage had ended and he "needed her".

If it were my sister or some other family member who was occasionally putting her relationship with a "best friend" over her spouse, I think I would intervene too. Sometimes you can't see the situation you're in clearly and need someone to point out the things that might be dangerous.

message 3: by Amy (new) - rated it 5 stars

Amy Whitney wrote: "All I can say is that my husband (while very supportive of anything and everything I've ever wanted to do) would not be supportive of me flying off to visit some other guy."

Same here. But I think Becky (and therefore Hale) acknowledged this was a mistake on Becky's part. "The very appearance of evil" passage, etc.

BTW, I thought your review was very fair. While I didn't have as strong a reaction as you seem to have, I understand where you're coming from.

I love Hale's humor, too!

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