From Lauren Graham, the beloved star of Gilmore Girls and Parenthood, comes a witty, charming, and hilariously relatable debut novel about a struggling young actress trying to get ahead - and keep it together - in New York City.
It’s January 1995, and Franny Banks has just six months left of the three-year deadline she set for herself when she came to New York, dreaming of Broadway and doing "important" work. But all she has to show for her efforts so far is a part in an ad for ugly Christmas sweaters, and a gig waiting tables at a comedy club. Her roommates - her best friend, Jane; and Dan, an aspiring sci-fi writer - are supportive, yet Franny knows a two-person fan club doesn’t exactly count as success. Everyone tells her she needs a backup plan, and though she can almost picture moving back home and settling down with her perfectly nice ex-boyfriend, she’s not ready to give up on her goal of having a career like her idols, Diane Keaton and Meryl Streep. Not just yet.
But while she dreams of filling their shoes, in the meantime, she’d happily settle for a speaking part in almost anything - and finding a hair product combination that works.
Everything is riding on the upcoming showcase for her acting class, where she’ll finally have a chance to perform for people who could actually hire her. And she can’t let herself be distracted by James Franklin, a notorious flirt and the most successful actor in her class, even though he’s suddenly started paying attention. Meanwhile, her bank account is rapidly dwindling, her father wants her to come home, and her agent doesn’t return her calls. But for some reason, she keeps believing that she just might get what she came for.
Someday, Someday, Maybe is a story about hopes and dreams, being young in a city, and wanting something deeply, madly, desperately. It’s about finding love, finding yourself, and perhaps most difficult of all in New York City, finding an acting job.
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Warm, funny take on the life of a struggling actor
It's great – quite a bit shorter than most of the books I tend to read, but I was in the mood for something lighter and shorter, and it fit the bill perfectly.
I'd definitely listen to more stuff either by, or just read by, Lauren Graham again. She has a bone-dry delivery, matched by her writing, that allows both humour and pathos to come through.
There's an inherent advantage to the author reading their own work anyway – you hear the dialogue in the voices, and with the cadences, that best deliver the humorous or the romantic lines without risk of misinterpretation.But Graham being a now-successful actress who would have been at the point of her career where Franny is in the mid-90s adds additional levels. Not only can we choose to believe that there is an element of autobiography in there (whether there is or is not), we know that, at the very least, the situations in which Franny finds herself are real. And that makes her more real to us as a result.
She's given herself three years to make it as an actor. Maybe this time…
In print, there are visual depictions of the heroine Franny's Filofax diary, which break up the narrative at key points. It took me a while to discover that Audible places a PDF version of those pages in your library (they've since added a note to the book's description to this effect) – it's worth keeping them to hand so that you can read them at the appropriate points.
- S. Matthewman