cover image Managing Expectations: A Memoir in Essays

Managing Expectations: A Memoir in Essays

Minnie Driver. Harper One, $27.99 (288p) ISBN 978-0-06-311530-9

Actor Driver parlays her ebullient charm from the screen to the page in this sparkling debut, a series of amusing essays on Hollywood, motherhood, and the vicissitudes of life. Taking readers from her fraught English childhood in the 1970s to the glittering career that followed her breakout role in 1995’s Circle of Friends, Driver muses on everything from her famous curls (“like giant springs pogoing in perpetual motion”) in “Butterfly Hair” to the unglamorous trials of being a working actress (when “all the momentum gathered in making Circle of Friends seemed to have disappeared,” she writes, “I couldn’t even book a fake orgasm”) and surviving 2018’s devastating wildfires in Malibu with her husband and son, in the introspective “Sea-Based Incursion.” Throughout, Driver’s beguiling wit and candor steal the show, even as she contends with the more difficult subjects later in life, such as the grief of losing her mother to cancer. Movingly recalling their final days and conversations together—including one about bread, which they concluded was “really just a butter vessel”—Driver observes, “We are on an adventure, and this is not some eleventh-hour reach to spin death into a more palatable destination.” Humorous and heartfelt, this is sure to please fans. (May)