Saturday, August 8, 2009
The Actor and the Housewife
Shannon Hale triggers a very odd space in my brain. It is the "this is what you could have been" section; had I more ambition, determination, etc. The reason this book triggered that area is the subject matter. It represents the most under-represented demographic in fiction: not any sort of minority, religion, gender or nationality. The main character in this book is a happily married woman who stays at home with her four children. She isn't torn apart by regrets, sin, angst or repressed tendencies. The conflict and plot in the book come from her honest desires to help and do what is right.
I must confess, this isn't the sort of book I normally read. It is a bit too chick lit and mainstream fiction for me and I almost put it down. But all my objections are purely due to the genre and have nothing to do with the writing or actual subject matter.
I have often toyed with the idea of writing something that validates the choice some of us have made to make home and family our careers. too often the assumption is that we are either miserable and downtrodden or too deficient in some way to make a contribution to society in a more popular manner. But I am not motivated, and I have the great excuse of 5 & 1/6 kids (though I know some women write anyway). And here is Shannon Hale writing the book I've always felt should be written. Honestly, it take some pressure off of me. Now that I know this book exists, I can just tell people read it for a perspective on my alternate lifestyle.
Just having this book on the shelves gives me a quiet little happy. And this book was published by a mainstream publisher, not LDS, so it is conceivable that these ideas will get into the mind of someone who never thought it was possible to live this way. Thank you Shannon Hale, from all the happy housewives out there, thanks for writing about our untold story.
The Actor and the Housewife. Shannon Hale. Bloomsbury. 2009