The Actor and the Housewife

The Actor and the Housewife

3.7 38
by Shannon Hale

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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

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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. H er 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.

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Editorial Reviews

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. (June)

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Kirkus Reviews
Mormon housewife meets British heartthrob, and the two become best friends. Disbelief is duly suspended. Hale, author of a number of imaginative YA titles and an adult novel (Austenland, 2007), here offers a strange concoction: a romantic comedy missing romantic leads. In Los Angeles to sell a screenplay (what luck, and on her first try!), pregnant Becky bumps into Felix Callahan (think Colin Firth/Hugh Grant). They engage in the kind of witty repartee that hasn't been heard since Carole Lombard graced the screen, and become bosom buddies. Becky returns to Utah and her husband Mike, resuming their happy suburban life filled with church and children. This leaves little room for a movie-star friend, especially since Felix is sophisticated, in possession of a "potty mouth" and an atheist with an aversion to children, while Becky is devoted to her kids, baking and the million other domestic miracles that occupy a day. Yet this mismatched pair improbably adore each other, and Mike is jealous. Though concerned-as are friends, family and church-Becky finally decides it is alright to be at home alone with a man who is not her husband: Felix, who is happily married to a French model, can be her friend! They chat every day and even make a movie together. (Yes! Starring Becky!) The odd, safe fantasy Hale has created is then jangled by a more sober realism. Mike gets cancer, and the domestic bliss Becky has enjoyed comes to a crushing end. Becky's devotion to her husband, her depression, her inability to see a romantic future for herself-all these elements ring true and tragic. Unfortunately, the novel hinges on Felix and Becky's relationship, and aside from a mutual love of quick-wittedbanter, their friendship is largely unbelievable. Hale's prose is friendly and funny, but she doesn't bring her premise to life.

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Product Details

Bloomsbury USA
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
8.28(w) x 5.64(h) x 1.00(d)

Meet the Author

Shannon's mother says she was a storyteller from birth, jabbering endlessly in her carriage as the two strolled through the neighborhood; once she could form complete sentences, she made up stories, bribing her younger siblings to perform them in mini plays. When she was ten, she began writing books, mostly fantasy stories where she was the heroine, and she continued writing secretly for years while pursuing acting in stage and improv comedy. After detours studying in Mexico, the U. K., and Paraguay, Shannon earned a bachelor's degree in English from the University of Utah and a Masters in Creative Writing from the University of Montana. In the interim, she submitted short stories and novels to magazines and publishers, saving all her rejection letters which she has since laminated into one continuous 60-foot roll which she proudly unfurls to audiences as a testament to her dedication and determination. Since the publication of her first book, The Goose Girl, in 2003, Shannon has become a beloved author to young readers as well as booksellers and educators. Her third novel, Princess Academy, earned her a Newbery Honor and is a The New York Times, Book Sense, and Publishers Weekly bestseller. Shannon has also written two books for adults, Austenland and The Actor and the Housewife. Shannon lives in Salt Lake City, Utah, with her husband, Dean, their children, and their pet, a small plastic pig.

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