Today Will Be Different by Maria Semple

"Today I will be my best self, the person I'm capable of being. Today will be different."

Like many other readers, I was enamored with Maria Semple's novel Where'd You Go, Bernadette. I loved everything about Bernadette.  The quirky observations, humor, and characters all had me excited to read Semple's latest Today Will Be Different. Following up a critical and commercial success is a daunting task, but I was hopeful that Semple would be up for the challenge.

The book peeks into a day in the life of Eleanor Flood. Lately her life has been in shambles. She is eight years past due on delivering her graphic memoir to her publisher. She has a strained relationship with her family. She doesn't really fit in with the other parents at her son Timby's school. The list goes on and on, but today she has decided to take a step in the right direction. She is determined to slowly rectify the wrongs in her life.

Unfortunately, life has other plans. Timby decides to fake an illness and school, so Eleanor has to rush from her poetry lesson to pick him up. When she calls her husband Joe's office, she is informed that he is out on vacation. This is news to her! To make matters worse, a chance encounter with a former employee brings to light secrets from her past that Eleanor has tried to ignore. Clearly, she is in for an uphill climb.

Today Will Be Different ironically ends up being more of the same. Semple's trademark humor and quirkiness is present, but does not have a fully formed story to lend itself to. Eleanor is essentially Bernadette reincarnated, but is never as endearing as the original character. In fact, her persistent complaints about mundane things became pretty annoying as the book went on. To Semple's credit, the flashbacks about Eleanor's strained relationship with her sister were really interesting. That being said, I almost feel like the book would have benefited from being set in the past rather than the present day. Today Will Be Different is a quick read, but it offers little substance to readers expecting greatness from an author who has shown she can achieve it.

For more information, visit the author's website, Amazon, and Goodreads.

(2017, 17)

This entry was posted on Tuesday, April 18, 2017 and is filed under ,,,,. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response.

5 Responses to “Today Will Be Different by Maria Semple”

  1. Replies
    1. Nice to meet you as well. Thanks for stopping in!

  2. That's too bad that it wasn't better. I've had Bernadette on my TBR for a really long time. I guess I'll just stick with that one.

    1. I think I was just disappointed that it wasn't much different than Bernadette. You should definitely read that one though!

  3. It's hard when there is a great book and the author has to follow up on it. Reminds me of Ready Player One. That was an AMAZING book to me. The Armada came out and I was just as excited for that book and it was a let down.


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