The Actor and the Housewife
By Shannon Hale
Bloomsbury, 2009. 339 pgs. Fiction.
Becky Jack, Mormon housewife, while in L.A. to sell a screenplay, meets her favorite actor, droolworthy Felix Callahan. An unlikely friendship ensues, with Becky and Felix quickly becoming best friends. Although their relationship is purely platonic, Becky and Felix are both married to other people, and Becky has to consider how this friendship affects her marriage and family, as well as how it fits with her personal values.
Although the friendship is one that requires the reader to suspend disbelief, the story is a touching one. Becky is a thoughtful character, with challenges and trials that stretch her as a human being. The ending has unexpected twists, which may leave readers feeling slightly unfulfilled. I found this to be the least enjoyable of Hale's works, but the comic interplay between Felix and Becky is particularly amusing. The topic of a friendship between a man and woman who are each married to someone else could be a contraversial one, and the ending could be frustrating to readers, due to a lack of clarity.