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Book Review: Someday, Someday Maybe by Lauren Graham

A young actress seeks fame and fortune in the bright lights of New York.  Sounds like the biography of perhaps countless young starlets with a dream of stardom swelling in their bellies.  What actress Lauren Graham does in her novel Someday, Someday Maybe is take this premise and weave a well written and engaging plot with a memorable heroine.

Lauren Graham is best known to television audiences for her portrayal of fast talking, coffee drinking, small inn entrepreneur Lorelai Gilmore in Gilmore Girls and steadfast Sarah Braverman in the equally moving show Parenthood. As a Gilmore Girls fan, I wanted to read Lauren Graham’s book. But I also wanted to examine the novel from the eyes of any reader seeking well written fiction with a riveting plot, well drawn and dynamic characters.

Part of me wondered if my affection for Gilmore Girls and Lauren Graham’s stellar acting would color my feelings for the book. Happily, I was able to detach from the actress and appreciate the writing of the novelist. First, I commend Lauren Graham on the title of the book Someday, Someday Maybe is wistful. There’s an undercurrent of longing and hope punctuating the title. This undercurrent also exists throughout the book.

Someday, Someday Maybe tells the story of Franny Banks, a twenty something woman living in New York with dreams of acting stardom. She has allowed herself three years to succeed. At the outset of the novel, we discover that her self-imposed deadline is coming quickly. Like many actresses, Franny waits tables as she yearns for her big break.

If one of the central commandments for a writer is to write what she knows, I have no doubt that Franny’s world is a place that Graham knows well. Graham allows the reader to travel with Franny on the road long traveled by starlets for decades. I found it an inspired technique that Graham chose to document Franny’s journey by writing in the first person narrative.

This writing style enables the reader to become emotionally invested and privy to the protagonist’s struggles and triumphs. Further, Graham’s writing is clear and engaging. Franny is a strong heroine with a high moral compass. You want to root for her. You want her to find her “happily ever after” even as her personal and professional path is paved with thorns.

The “A” plot is Franny’s professional desire. But, there is a romantic “B” plot that keeps the reader both interested and entertained.

I highly recommend this book. It is a refreshing debut novel that tugs tightly at the reader’s heartstrings, refusing to let go for even a moment and makes us believe life is full of possibilities-someday, someday, maybe.

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