Lauren Graham, yes that Lauren Graham, wrote a book in 2013 called Someday, Someday, Maybe, published by Penguin Random House, and I recently read the e-book version that I checked out from the library.
The Synopsis per the publishers website:
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.
I didn’t know much about this book before reading it, and I decided to give it a shot because I like Lauren Graham as an actress and she comes off as a very relatable person in interviews. I had no idea that she had a BA in English, and I wanted to see how she would handle writing a novel.
The novel is told in first person from main character Franny’s perspective and I really liked it. Graham has a good sense of her voice and it was a pleasant experience going on this journey with her. The novel does start with a dream, which some might say is a definite NO! but it worked here. Not only does Graham establish who Franny is, and what she wants to achieve very quickly, she gives us a great insight into Franny’s roommate, Dan, and from the beginning he’s set up as the likable guy. This comes back later.
Franny’s best friend, Jane, is a great sounding board for her when she needs to take a look at her choices and figure out her next steps. They have a believable, supportive friendship. Jane’s not here to push Franny too hard and it works. Franny doesn’t need a a hard as nails friend because her choices are very much career and romance related.
I really liked how Graham gave Franny a clear deadline and made her journey believable. There was no instant success, and the struggles that Franny found herself facing were grounded in reality. She had to decide if the successful actor from her class was a right fit for her romantically, figure out which agent is right for her, and figure out when to say no to roles; even if her bank account would rather her say yes, if they weren’t right for her. Her inner struggles with being the new girl on set, the new girlfriend, or running out of time all come across as believable and interesting.
And then there’s the romance part of the book. Of course Franny has to decide if she wants to stick with her out of state ex-boyfriend, the actor who is well known, or her roommate, Dan.
Graham handles this well. Franny decides to choose one of those three over the others for a reason that makes perfect sense for her, and it is explained well as to why she chooses who she does. Sometimes romantic decisions happen without any reasoning behind them, and it was nice to see Graham flesh out Franny’s motives completely.
Overall, the book is a nice read. It’s pleasant. I felt while reading it that Graham was telling me her story. It has a conversational tone that really made me like this character and I look forward to a sequel if Graham writes one.
In the E-book version I read there is an interview between Lauren Graham and her Parenthood co-star Mae Whitman that is also worth a read. Graham discusses how the book is loosely based on her life.
So why did I do a book review on a blog about TV?
In 2013 Graham had partnered with Ellen DeGeneres to turn this book into a TV show. The CW bought a pilot presentation for the show under the title Unfamous which Graham wrote. They did not go forward with it which is too bad because it could’ve been fun, and it sounds like it would’ve resembled old 90’s WB.
I would definitely recommend the book. It’s a well written, quick read with a likable character, and it’s a nice change of pace from a lot of the genre stuff that I watch.
If you read it, let me know what you think. in the comments. Thanks for checking out the blog!