Wednesday, October 7, 2009
The Actor and the Housewife by Shannon Hale
You thought I'd forgotten, didn't you?
But I hadn't.
But I almost wish I had.
You'll note this review has no ratings. Because I don't know. I didn't finish it.
I wanted this to be a light, happy, funny tale. And in some ways it was... and then it also wasn't.
(And can I just say, the cover is really bugging me. Their heads are all cut off. Grr.)
Maybe I'm a shallow reader, but I didn't want to deal with the tensions in her marriage (which she was causing, though she didn't mean to) or the Bishop who just didn't come across as all that caring, or any of the rest of it.
And I sure as stinkin' heck didn't want to deal with her husband dying of cancer. (And yes, I actually wrote yesterday's post BEFORE reading this, but hello, way to illustrate my point.)
It's contrived. First his marriage breaks up then her husband dies, clearing the way for them to fall into each other's arms. (I did read the last chapter.)
Now, before I get flamed into obscurity, I'm sure it's not that simple. There were a good 150 pages I didn't really read, so clearly something else happened, but still.
And, frankly, it makes their whole friendship a bit... suspect.
I have mixed feelings on the subject of having close close friends of the opposite gender other than your spouse. I have always been one of those girls who gets along better with guys, and yes, there are still a couple I'm fairly close to, but not so close that it would threaten my husband or infringe upon our marriage in any way. As time passes, we talk less. Not because there's anything wrong with our friendships, but just because that's the way life is.
But at what point does a friendship become an emotional affair? Can you really have THAT much invested in another man emotionally? (I'm feeling flashbacks to the Jayson Wolfe books..... similar problem, but not quite the same. It's a little different if you were like siblings before your marriage. Heck, it's a little different if you KNEW each other before.)
Anyway, I'm bugged. And yes, I absolutely acknowledge that a) the dialogue was great and b) if I were in a different mood or had known it was more serious, I may have had a completely different opinion.
I'm sure this book totally works for a lot of people. If it sounds like your thing-- check it out. There are lots of laugh out loud moments. Overall, though... not working for me.