Today Will Be Different

Today Will Be Different

A Novel

Book - 2016
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Eleanor knows she's a mess. But today, she will tackle the little things. She will shower and get dressed. She will have her poetry and yoga lessons after dropping off her son, Timby. She won't swear. She will initiate sex with her husband, Joe. But before she can put her modest plan into action--life happens. Today, it turns out, is the day Timby has decided to fake sick to weasel his way into his mother's company. It's also the day Joe has chosen to tell his office--but not Eleanor--that he's on vacation. Just when it seems like things can't go more awry, an encounter with a former colleague produces a graphic memoir whose dramatic tale threatens to reveal a buried family secret.
Publisher: New York : Little, Brown and Company, 2016
Edition: First edition
Copyright Date: ©2016
ISBN: 9780316403436
0316403431
Branch Call Number: FIC SEMPLE 2016
Characteristics: 259 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : color illustrations ; 25 cm

Opinion

From Library Staff

I went into Today Will Be Different expecting the mockery of Seattle’s ridiculous idiosyncrasies What I got was different, but just as good. Eleanor is sympathetic and the story revolves around family conflicts and disappointments, as well as Eleanor’s awareness of the inevitability of aging and ... Read More »


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Birdtrovert
Sep 03, 2020

I, like many others, had read "Where'd You Go, Bernadette?" and was expecting the same quirkiness and style from this book as well. Unfortunately, this book did not deliver. The main character is one of the most unlikeable characters ever. I enjoyed the backstory but also found myself not really interested. More like, the sister was a more interesting plot line and our MC was rude, dissatisfied with everything and sort of the worst. She is pretty mean to her son: giving him a makeup set and then scolding him about it, in general telling him that he ruins everything. (He is 8.) Unfortunately, the story also goes heavy on religion and, I suppose, anti-religious views? MC is uninteresting, at best, and downright a trainwreck, at worst. The book, along with our MC, go on long rants and ramblings while making lots of references that really don't need to be in this book.

(Now I'M rambling.) I do not recommend this book. WYGB is a much more enjoyable and quirky story with interesting and redeemable characters. TWBD is a slog to get through with an uninteresting and forgettable cast of characters (besides Timby and Yo-Yo, an 8 year old and a dog).

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AnnSkye
Aug 26, 2020

I enjoyed this quirky novel.

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AaronAardvark1940
Jan 06, 2020

This fictional biography, told in flashbacks experienced in one day of Eleanor's life, involves a mystery concerning her husband. Although this was to be part of our current reading project, my wife found the telling too choppy to follow. The author ties up all of the loose ends; certainly not as I would have suspected. This book was previewed as "sublimely funny" by at least one author. I'm not sure about that complimentary statement. Most of the humor is found in Eleanor's put-downs and in many self-deprecating observations. Eleanor's disdain for everybody is who not Eleanor is tiring to read. The book is clever and makes one hope that Eleanor's self-awakening is not transitory.

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bookpusher
Aug 13, 2019

I had high hopes for this book after reading Where'd You Go Bernadette?, but it was kind of all over the place.

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BeatriceLi
Jul 06, 2019

The protagonist Eleanor Flood is a well crafted complex character. At the start of the book, I was thoroughly annoyed by her disdain for others and the bemoaning of what seemed like trivial problems in a privileged life. But as clues are slowly revealed about her past, her fears and her innermost longings, I found my heart split open. By the end, she had me rooting for her as she stumbles along in her striving to be a better person. I would recommend this book to anyone who understands, or is trying to understand, what a great challenge such striving can be, when bogged down by a complicated past.

Today will be Different by Maria Semple is a fast-paced, adventurous, fun read. It is full of strong characters, edgy humour, crazy plot twists and delightfully descriptive text that immerse you in Seattle, New Orleans, and Aspen. In the story, Eleanor Flood, a middle-aged animator and mom of a precocious eight-year-old boy living in Seattle wakes up one day deciding that today is the day she will get out of her rut and insists that today will be different. In fact, it turns into one misadventure after another as she tries to solve the mystery of her absent husband and in the search reflects on her life and her troubled relationship with her estranged sister. Although a quick, fast paced read, Semple is able to explore the relationships between this flawed, yet immensely likeable character and her significant others to a satisfying depth. (Submitted by Michelle).

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thebritlass
Oct 05, 2018

For those of us who know what it is like to have a semi-stream-of-consciousness day, to be less the person we want to be and more the person we don't, and to realize that facing what we don't want to see is a necessary part of healing.

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sharonstp
Apr 15, 2018

She had me laugh out loud a few times. Requires attention. Enjoyed most of it.

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bookie66
Jan 04, 2018

After 75 pages I quit reading. She's hard to read. She writes these witty sentences full of angst, wit, etc but doesn't ever write sentences that are just plain readable. If that makes sense. It's like reading sentence after sentence of one-liners.......it wears you down.
I know some who love her style. Not me......

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margarethaws
Dec 04, 2017

I just have to be honest and say: this is the worst book I have ever read. As many others have said, the main character is unrelatable, unsympathetic, and really just a horrible person. In general, I do not enjoy books about people who just genuinely hate everything and treat people poorly. Also, I was turned off in the first chapter when the mother gives her son a makeup set then shames him for using it. The huge focus on hating religion is also just very unappealing to me as well, especially since it is what initially bonds the main character and her husband when they meet. The events of the day seem put together at random and I finished feeling angry that I wasted the time on it. I read this for a book club and felt so confused when there were people in the club that actually enjoyed this book. Do not waste your time.

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