Charming and funny novel of an aspiring actress and all the obstacles she faces.
Jim McKeown, welcome to Likely Stories, a weekly review of fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and biographies.
I must confess two things, first of all, I generally avoid biographies and novels by and about show business types. Second, I have a wicked crush on Lauren Graham. It is entirely possible my review is highly influenced by these two items. Lauren Helen Graham was born March 16, 1967. She is an American actress and author. She is best recognized for her role as Lorelai Gilmore. Lauren Graham’s first novel was released in 2014. Someday, Someday, Maybe brought a smile to my face from the first page. I could hear her voice, as if I were watching an episode of The Gilmore Girls–-5 stars—or Parenthood—5 stars --currently streaming on Netflix.
Someday, Someday, Maybe is the story of Frances “Franny” Banks, an aspiring actress on the verge of giving up as her self-imposed deadline for success approaches. She juggles a waitressing job under a mean boss, occasional catering gigs, while sharing an apartment with Dan and Jane. She has a hit-or-miss social life to boot. Her father has been supporting her, but that deal is about to run out. Lauren writes, “Jane and I are in the living room sitting cross-legged on either side of the couch flipping through channels when Still Nursing comes on. Dan is working at the dining room table, but he always says he isn’t bothered by us sitting and talking in there while he’s writing due to his uncanny ability to completely tune us out, and in fact our chatter is so incessant, we’re like human white noise. It’s a handy thing to have in a roommate” (148). This passage could easily be cut and pasted into either of her previous acting jobs. Her voice comes clearly off the screen, past the page, and to my ears.
This charming novel—in my unbiased opinion—really is a lot of fun. Sprinkled throughout are pages from her planner/date book. There are times when the only entries are to record her daily run, usually 3 miles. Franny is in an acting class with a well-known acting coach. One of her class mates is the alluring James Franklin, a working actor. They are assigned a scene from a play for the next class. They go to James’ apartment to practice. They do the scene over and over. Franny is exhausted and hungry, he coxes her to stay and do the scene again. She is angry, and she begins the scene with renewed passion. Finally, she leaves. Lauren writes, “He closes the door behind me after one last kiss, a kiss I’m only partially present for because my mind is racing. I practically run the whole way home, both because the neighborhood is creepily quiet and dark and because of the nagging feeling that I’ve done something I’m going to regret. How could he, in a million years, say I jumped him, even jokingly? And what was he talking about, ‘Act Two’? Our scene is from the end of Act One. He got it wrong, I’m pretty sure. I’ll have to look at the play again when I get home” (195-196). The scene was actually from Act Two, Scene One.
Franny suffers from a lack of self-esteem, which in an unintentionally comic scene, she thinks her career is over, but the teacher recommends her to several agents for some auditions. All-in-all, this was a fun read. I motored through in not much more than a day. I have her autobiography, and there is another novel out soon, and a non-fiction piece, and as a bonus, a cookbook based on The Gilmore Girls. Lauren Graham’s first novel, Someday, Someday, Maybe was a pleasant surprise for me. What are the odds I will end up with all her work? 5 stars!
Likely Stories is a production of KWBU. I’m Jim McKeown. Join me again next time for Likely Stories.