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.


  1. Dude. You are not alone. I hated this book. With a fiery passion. I felt so manipulated by the time I finished it I was ready to punch something!

  2. Oh Angie, you have no idea how happy that makes me. And here I was thinking I was the lone sourpuss who just "didn't get it" raining on the book's parade...


  3. I have this book from the library right now. I think I'll still read it but now I'll be better prepared. Thanks.

  4. Yeah, I think I might have enjoyed it more if I'd known what I was getting into...

    Enjoy :)

  5. Yeah, I haven't reviewed it either, because honestly I don't know what to say. I thought there were definitely funny moments, but I hated Felix (also his name, it made me think of Felix the cat - not a sexy movie star). I had good guy friends before I got married, but as soon as I married, those relationships could never be the same.

    This was a tough book for me, because I wanted to love it like I love all of Shannon's other books. Somehow I just couldn't love it, let alone like it. Sadness.

  6. Felix the cat... hehehe

    Yeah, that was part of my problem too-- I love Shannon Hale's other books! But yeah, couldn't love this one...

  7. I normally love Shannon Hale but I disliked this book a lot because it was so contrived. I mean a relationship is based on so much more than a kiss. And there were points where I felt it was a case of the lady doth protest too much. I mean if you knew the relationship is platonic, why do you keep needing to justify it?

  8. Yeah, no kidding, Llehn.

    This is so interesting. I really thought I was going to get a lot of responses from people who loved the book, mad at me for not loving it. Instead I find a bunch of people who felt the same way about it.