The Actor and the Housewife by Shannon Hale

actor and the housewife coverBecky Jack is the quiet, Utah housewife on her first visit to LA.  She is about to get fleeced selling a screenplay when in walks celebrity heart throb, Felix Callahan, the star of her favorite film.  Fans of Shannon Hale’s Austenland need only picture Colin Firth as Felix to understand the premise.

Through a series of coincidences, Becky and Felix are forced into having dinner together, prolonging an acquaintance that likely would never have developed any other way.  Their friendship is haphazard and sometimes, non-existent as they meet, separate, befriend and struggle with their odd relationship.

The witty repartee of the characters as they play on each other’s conversations will have you in stitches throughout the book.  For all the humor present, there is plenty of loss and heartbreak to balance the crests and troughs of Becky and Mike’s, and Felix and Celeste’s complicated relationships, and what exactly their spouses think of all of this.

Christian readers will appreciate the “tame” romantic plot which relegates sex scenes to a “fade to black”.  Also worthy of note is the wonderful bond of Becky and Mike’s marriage of 13 years, which must weather the disbelief and waggling tongues of their neighbors and immediate family. The Actor and the Housewife is an exquisite portrayal of the differences between men and women, friendship and marriage and ultimately, the decisions that we make to protect the sanctity of marriage.  Highly recommended.

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