Monday, July 11, 2011

Book Notes: The Actor and the Housewife, by Shannon Hale

This book still makes me laugh harder than any other book except "A Civil Campaign". And it makes me weep every time too - this time I got to the sad part while I was sitting at the table with the kids, and I kept quiet about it, but had to keep wiping away tears so that they wouldn't notice Mom was crying.

When we reread books there's always a reason. Sometimes it's because of the characters or the plot, sometimes it's the dialogue or it's because the setting is exactly the place we wish we could be at the moment.

With this book, I reread it because I remember how funny it is. But then, once I'm a few pages in, I remember that the reason I really love it is because of how Hale writes about marriage and family. I've never read a household that sounded so real. And it's a good household too - so often fiction is about dysfunction, and the fact that Hale can write about normality and make it more interesting than dysfunction just shows her chops. That's hard. And I love her for it.

Then, towards the end, I remember that the whole book is a theodicy and I love her for that too. Being a Mormon, she answers the theodicy differently than I would, but I think any orthodox believer of any faith can appreciate a piece of fiction that grows so organically out of the author's theology.

This is a good book. Go read it.

Peace of Christ to you,

Jessica Snell

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