Today Will Be Different
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Today Will Be Different : From the bestselling author of Where'd You Go, Bernadette

3.18 (34,006 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

Eleanor Flood knows she's a mess. But today will be different. Today she will shower and put on real clothes. She will attend her yoga class after dropping her son, Timby, off at school. She'll see an old friend for lunch. She won't swear. She will initiate sex with her husband, Joe. But before she can put her modest plan into action - life happens.For today is the day Timby has decided to pretend to be ill to weasel his way into his mother's company. It's also the day surgeon Joe has chosen to tell his receptionist - but not Eleanor - that he's on vacation. And just when it seems that things can't go more awry, a former colleague produces a relic from the past - a graphic memoir with pages telling of family secrets long buried and a sister to whom Eleanor never speaks.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 272 pages
  • 154 x 197 x 22mm | 282g
  • Orion Publishing Co
  • WEIDENFELD & NICOLSON
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1780227337
  • 9781780227337
  • 31,216

Review quote

In her latest brainy, seriously funny novel, private school parents, a husband's secret life and more confront a Seattle woman * Editors' Choice, New York Times Book Review * Today will be different, Eleanor Flood tells herself, and oh baby hang on for a wild ride that's like nothing Eleanor sees coming. In this brilliant depiction of a woman hanging on by her fingernails, Maria Semple delivers a perfect panic of a day on which the barely tolerable, muddle-through-it desperation that so many of us have known at one time or another suddenly erupts with life-shattering force. Can an existential crisis make us laugh? Such is Semple's talent that this one does, without losing any of the punch or gravity of the hardest kinds of lived experience -- Ben Fountain, author of BRIEF ENCOUNTERS WITH CHE GUEVARA Today Will Be Different is a sublimely funny and inventive novel driven by Maria Semple's razor-sharp observations and a voice that leaps from the page -- Jess Walter, author of Beautiful Ruins Fans of Bernadette will recognize Semple's propulsive and satirical dialogue -- Trine Tsouderos * Chicago Tribune * Today Will Be Different starts off as a funny, rant-y novel and becomes, by its end, an unexpectedly heartfelt exploration of a woman's inner life. (And yes, it's still funny.) -- Moira Macdonald * Seattle Times * Crackling with honesty and heart -- Jarry Lee * BuzzFeed * Written with Semple's hilarity-cum-sincerity, Eleanor grapples with the past to reconcile her future and makes readers smile -- Steph Opitz * Marie Claire * Brisk, amusing and engaging, and Semple is a champion observer of the human condition -- Connie Ogle * Miami Herald * A zesty, memorable novel -- Suzy Feay * Guardian * Wickedly funny... Semple's trademark dark humor and knack for creating a page-turning story out of socially awkward interactions will make this one you can't put down - and won't want to -- Adam Rathe * Town and Country * Quirky and blade-sharp -- Tina Jordan and Isabella Biedenharn * Entertainment Weekly * A vivid, hilarious, remarkably compact book - 271 pages' worth of crisp observations and occasionally too-close-to-home truths about modern relationships. And it's anchored by a gorgeous scrapbook-slash-mini-graphic novel -- Brian Raftery * Wired * Deliciously mucky mayhem * San Francisco Chronicle * Semple brilliantly conveys a whole array of angst - self-deprecation and existential dread and a panic attack of neuroses - while simultaneously packing in a liberal dose of levity... It's a joy to watch Eleanor struggle to change for the better. That we get to laugh along with her is an added bonus -- Maris Kreizman * Los Angeles Times * Outrageously funny. But [Today Will Be Different] cuts closer to the bone than Bernadette did, and its main character's problems feel more real.... Ms. Semple is an immensely appealing writer, and there's something universal in her heroine's efforts to get a handle on a life spinning out of control. We may not all have long-lost sisters who live in the most crazily status-obsessed corners of the South, but we surely know what she means about waking up each dawn with new resolve that melts by midmorning -- Janet Maslin * New York Times * A little bit wacky and always wise, and we recognize people we know - including ourselves - on every page -- Elisabeth Egan * Glamour * Loopy, deeply and darkly funny, and brave... Semple is a master of the social skewer, boldly impolite and impolitic... Eleanor is as sharp and Semple-esque as they come, which is to say a delightful danger to herself and others, sympathetic, and so very smart -- Elinor Lipman * Washington Post * Readers who devoured Where'd You Go, Bernadette will love Eleanor [Flood]'s wry voice and dark humor -- Kim Hubbard * People * Writing a comedy novel that manages to connect emotionally is no easy task, but Semple knocks it out of the park. Today Will Be Different is hilarious, moving and written perfectly, and it makes a good case for Semple as one of America's best living comic novelists -- Michael Schaub * NPR.org * Another tour de force... The success of this poetic, seriously funny and brainy dream of a novel - 'Mrs. Dalloway Takes Laughing Gas', perhaps - has to do with Maria Semple's range of riffs and preoccupations. All kinds of details, painful and perverse and deeply droll, cling to her heroine and are appraised and examined and skewered and simply wondered at. If that's considered a trick, readers of Semple's novel will be overjoyed to fall for it -- Meg Wolitzer * New York Times Book Review * Semple has mastered the intersection of sad and nuts like no one else.... Like a cross between Jonathan Franzen's The Corrections, the best episides of Bob's Burgers, and the private journal of the smartest, most irritable woman you know, Today Will Be Different is a reckless and scattershot work of genius -- Heather Havrilesky * Bookforum * this witty novel is a life-affirming read. * CLOSER * Captivating, right up to the final twist. * GRAZIA * her narrative oozes stylistic originality * i NEWSPAPER * an entertaining book to while away a few hours. * SUNDAY EXPRESS * This waspishness selfishness is a clever mask, but Semple has a knack of teasing out the warmth behind it. * FINANCIAL TIMES * Clever, funny and silly * PSYCHOLOGIES * I had the uncanny feeling, while reading TODAY WILL BE DIFFERENT, that Maria Semple had somehow snuck into my house when I was asleep, took an x-ray image of my heart, then painted it by hand in neon colors. This book is searingly honest and hilarious and dark and neurotic. It is dizzying. Best of all, it is delicious -- Lauren Groff, author of FATES AND FURIES I love Maria Semple! TODAY WILL BE DIFFERENT is just as funny, poignant, and life-affirming as BERNADETTE -- Nina Stibbe, author of LOVE, NINA and MAN AT THE HELM So unique, so smart, so funny, so beautifully humane, so utterly of our times, it's astonishing -- Gillian Flynn, author of GONE GIRL I adore it. Every bit as smart - and smart-arsed - as BERNADETTE . . . this is wonderful -- Sam Baker, author of THE WOMAN WHO RAN and co-founder of THE POOL Whipsmart, dazzling, darkly comic and deeply touching. I loved it! -- Marian Keyes sees Semple once again writing about a difficult woman with gleeful empathy and humour that can turn on a knife edge to heartbreak * RED * One to Watch: Where'd You Go, Bernadette established Maria Semple as a brilliant comic writer. Today Will Be Different, about a middle-aged mum who is desperately trying to keep control of her life despite having one of those days, is just as smart, funny and original. * GOOD HOUSEKEEPING * With its sparky gags and quirky cast of characters, never has a meltdown been so entertaining * GLAMOUR * There are some good lines and more than a few laughs, plus occasional pungent observations on life * DAILY MAIL * It's funny and silly but also poignant and more than a little reminiscent of Semple's bestselling Where'd You Go, Bernadette * MAIL ON SUNDAY * This whip-smart, bleakly humorous study of how we live now is full of finely drawn characters and deserves to widen her fanbase. * SUNDAY TIMES * The joy, as before, is in the narrative voice... Brilliant set-pieces include a scene of existential despair in CostCo, a flashback to a hideous society wedding in the deep south, and Dr Joe's epiphany during a Seattle Seahawks game.. Semple reaffirms her gift for creating memorable, monstrous characters * THE GUARDIAN *show more

About Maria Semple

Maria Semple spent fifteen years in Los Angeles as a television writer, working on hit shows including Ellen, Saturday Night Live, Mad About You and Arrested Development. Her second novel, Where'd You Go, Bernadette, was an international bestseller and was shortlisted for the 2013 Women's Prize for Fiction and won the 2013 Melissa Nathan Award. Maria lives in Seattle. www.mariasemple.comshow more

Review Text

The joy, as before, is in the narrative voice... Brilliant set-pieces include a scene of existential despair in CostCo, a flashback to a hideous society wedding in the deep south, and Dr Joe's epiphany during a Seattle Seahawks game.. Semple reaffirms her gift for creating memorable, monstrous characters THE GUARDIAN 20161008show more

Rating details

34,006 ratings
3.18 out of 5 stars
5 9% (3,063)
4 28% (9,392)
3 41% (13,981)
2 18% (6,014)
1 5% (1,556)
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