Lauren Graham is an actress arguably best known for her role as fast-talking Lorelai, in the TV show Gilmore Girls, and I couldn’t help but hear Lauren’s voice in my head as I read this. Someday Someday Maybe is a novel written in the first person and narrated by Frances ‘Franny’ Banks, a struggling actress named after a character in a J.D. Salinger story.
Set in New York in 1995, this story begins six months before the date Franny set herself to make it as an actress or give up and go home to marry her high-school sweetheart and get a sensible job. Franny is funny but insecure, and she’s never quite sure if she’s the leading lady in her own story or just the sassy sidekick, but I found myself rooting for her to succeed.
This is a character driven story, and the looming deadline creates a sense of urgency that drives the plot forward. The novel includes excerpts from scripts, transcripts of answer phone messages (mostly from Franny’s supportive but long-suffering father) and scribbled extracts from Franny’s precious Filofax, which records everything from her waitressing shifts, acting classes and auditions to bad hair days and doodles.
The story offers a somewhat unglamorous glimpse into show-business, from the rivalry between aspiring actors in the same drama class to the awkward auditions, how it feels to be scrutinised by costume, hair and make-up artists and the tedium of repeating the same lines over and over again. It’s hard not to imagine that parts of this novel where drawn from Lauren’s own experiences as an actress trying to make it in the big city.
Someday Someday Maybe is a light-hearted escape into another life, place and time, which reminded me a little of Bridget Jones’ Diary and Sex in the City, but it’s not at all derivative of either of those novels. This is laugh out loud in places and cringe-some in others as Franny recounts her messy romantic encounters, professional mis-steps and everything in between.