Today Will Be Different by Maria Semple

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Today Will Be Different is the second Maria Semple book I have read. Last year I fell in love with Where’d You Go Bernadette? which you definitely don’t have to read in order to understand Today Will Be Different (as the many reviews on Goodreads might have you believe).

Lately, I have gotten into the habit of scanning reviews online before I read something. There is widespread disappointment among readers on Goodreads that this book did not live up to Where’d You Go Bernadette? that I found that to be quite surprising. These books are similar in many ways…

  • Both are wild rides featuring quirky characters who are dealing with a significant loss in their past
  • Both feature smart observations of life in Seattle (and life in general)
  • Both have pseudo-mystery-cliff-hanger endings
  • And both feature a crappy husband/father character

I will admit that I got a little lost in the “Troubled Troubadour” chapter. I was unprepared for how much of the second half of the story was going to focus on Eleanor’s sister, Ivy. It almost seemed like those sections could have been taken out. I do not feel that the Ivy storyline was necessary, though it did make for an interesting tangent. It also gave insight into both Eleanor and Joe, and in Joe’s case it shed some light on his decisions near the end of the book.

On the whole, I really enjoyed this book. It had everything I love about Maria Semple’s writing and storytelling.


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