Expected publication date: April 30th 2013
A charming and laugh-out-loud novel by Lauren Graham, beloved star of Parenthood and Gilmore Girls, about an aspiring actress trying to make it in mid-nineties New York City.
Franny Banks is a struggling actress in New York City, with just six months left of the three year deadline she gave herself to succeed. But so far, all she has to show for her efforts is a single line in an ad for ugly Christmas sweaters and a degrading waitressing job. She lives in Brooklyn with two roommates-Jane, her best friend from college, and Dan, a sci-fi writer, who is very definitely not boyfriend material-and is struggling with her feelings for a suspiciously charming guy in her acting class, all while trying to find a hair-product cocktail that actually works. Meanwhile, she dreams of doing “important” work, but only ever seems to get auditions for dishwashing liquid and peanut butter commercials. It’s hard to tell if she’ll run out of time or money first, but either way, failure would mean facing the fact that she has absolutely no skills to make it in the real world. Her father wants her to come home and teach, her agent won’t call her back, and her classmate Penelope, who seems supportive, might just turn out to be her toughest competition yet. Someday, Someday, Maybe is a funny and charming debut about finding yourself, finding love, and, most difficult of all, finding an acting job.
[Note: This is an adult novel – it’s not especially racy, but there’s definitely a bit of profanity and some sexual scenes. It should be fine for anyone fourteen and older]
Is there anything Lauren Graham can’t do well? Known for her humourous and emotional on-screen performances in Gilmore Girls and Parenthood, Lauren Graham is one of those actresses who really feels like she is the characters she plays: she’s funny, she’s strong, and she’s the girl you want to be best friends with. Because of my love for her as an actress, I had very high expectations of Someday, Someday, Maybe and I’m glad to say that they delivered.
The novel is written in first-person from the point of view of Franny Banks, a young, talented actress who is trying to get on Broadway. Each chapter is punctuated by Filofax pages with Franny’s scribblings – appointments, what she ate, how much she ran, doodles…at one point, an agent tells Franny that she should write down what happened after each audition and job she does, so that she has something to learn from. I can only imagine that Graham did this, and that’s where this novel came from.
You’ll be glad to know that Graham’s writing is very, very solid. I was incredibly impressed with her nuanced descriptions and her pitch-perfect rendering of character. Someday, Someday, Maybe was a smooth and effortless read from a writing standpoint.
While it’s not an incredibly inventive story – young, poor actor trying to make it – the novel makes up for that in heart, in humour, and in authenticity. I loved how Franny rambled on like Lorelai Gilmore when she was confused. I loved how she really didn’t know what she wanted to do, but she just kept on doing it. I loved how much effort and mental power Franny put into an audition for a girl who doesn’t have a line, but just has a funny laugh. I loved how she had depressing weeks when nothing was happening in her career, and she had to just sit around in her pajamas and watch crappy TV for awhile before pulling herself back up.
Franny’s family and friends, too, are such a hoot and so much fun to be around that I just fell in love with the character even more. Franny both underestimates and overestimates herself, and she does that a bit with her friends and romantic interests, too. What I loved about this was just how much she was an average girl when it came to love and relationships – Franny is really talented and pretty (although a little lacking in self-esteem), but she’s just as much of a clueless dolt as we all are when it comes to trying to figure people, not characters, out.
It’s impossible for me to divorce my own idea of Lauren Graham from the character of Franny – indeed, I don’t imagine that we’re expected to do so. A lot of Franny’s best moments are described in such hilarious and heart-breaking detail that you know that they must be drawn from Graham’s own experiences.
At its heart, Someday, Someday, Maybe is a novel about a girl who is trying to figure out what she wants to be and how to get there. It’s about making choices and owning them – but also how to fail, admit your mistakes and get back up again. As a young adult who is making my own way in the world, it was impossible for me not to love.
(Is this an all Lauren Graham images post? Why yes, yes, it is!)
The Art of Becoming Someone Else: One of my favourite parts of the novel was learning more about the craft of acting. I’ve been in some community theatre productions, but the way that Franny analyses and becomes a character is far more work than I ever put into my characters. You really see the process and the art of acting coming out through this novel.
The Giggles: This book had me laughing out loud. Many times. Lauren Graham is funny and quirky on camera, and that definitely translates to her writing.
It’s All in the Voice: Lauren Graham narrates the audiobook version of Someday, Someday, Maybe, and judging by this early snippet, that might have been the better format in which to read this book.
The Final Word:
Lauren Graham’s debut novel Someday, Someday, Maybe is a beautifully written novel capturing the essence of what it is to be a young actor trying to catch a break – but still remain true to herself. Gilmore Girls fans, and people in your twenties, you will love this cute, funny novel about self-discovery and pursuing your dreams.