today will be different

“Today Will Be Different” Review: Not quite as good as her first, but still funny.

A few years back I read and loved Maria Semple’s Where’d You Go, Bernadette. It was hilarious, heart-warming, fun, and really a lovely family story. I was excited about her next book, Today Will Be Different, but ultimately it just didn’t meet my high expectations.

“Today Will Be Different” Review: Not quite as good as her first, but still funny.Today Will Be Different by Maria Semple
on October 4th 2016
Genres: Contemporary Fiction
Narrator: Kathleen Wilhoite
Length: 6 hrs and 28 mins
Format: Audiobook
Buy on Amazon, Buy on Barnes & Noble, Buy from The Book Depository

A genius novel from the author of Where'd You Go, Bernadette, about a day in the life of Eleanor Flood, forced to abandon her small ambitions when she awakes to a strange, new future unfolding.
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.
TODAY WILL BE DIFFERENT is a hilarious, heart-filled story about reinvention, sisterhood, and how sometimes it takes facing up to our former selves to truly begin living.

a family of three, Seattle life, and a spiritual mystery

What I liked:

  • The book has a similar format as Where’d You Go, Bernadette. It focuses on a family unit and a mystery that needs to be solved within the family. In this book we’re trying to figure out why the husband lied to his wife.
  • The characters are wonderfully flawed – they read like real people. It’s refreshing, because you read about people you can relate to, and Semple always finds really lovely redeeming qualities about them. No matter how imperfect they are, they have things that are good about them, too. (Ultimately, it just makes you feel better about yourself!)
  • THE HUMOR. Oh my GOODNESS Semple is funny. She has a way of describing people and their motives in such a transparent way that you can’t help but laugh at how ridiculous we are sometimes.

What I didn’t like: 

  • I wasn’t a huge fan of what the “mystery” ended up being — but that is a very me issue, and I think a lot of people wouldn’t have minded it at all.
  • The book is called “Today Will be Different,” and it starts and ends with this mantra about how she (the main character) is going to be better today and do this today and that today, etc etc. But honestly that was really the only time I felt like the title came into play? I didn’t really appreciate that there was much of her trying to be different throughout the rest of the story. It’s a minor point, but one that definitely confused me when I finished the book.
  • There were some times in the book where we’d jump back to the main character’s childhood/early adult life for really long sections, and I was often left wondering how relevant those sections were.


I liked it, but not as much as Where’d You Go, Bernadette.

Have you read this one? What about her other? What’s a funny book you read recently that you enjoyed?

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  1. I love characters that are trying to navigate their way through self improvement, I’m one of those who wakes up thinking ‘today is that day’ but never follow through. I’m so skeptical by characters now that her husband taking leave from the office and not telling her has me thinking affair. I might check out her first book actually, it sounds brilliantly funny. Sorry you couldn’t have enjoyed this a little more Ali but fabulous review nonetheless <3 <3

    1. Yes, you’ll either love or hate Where’d You Go Bernadette, but it’s worth a try, because if you love it, you’ll laugh your ass off!