Maria Semple’s New Novel “Today Will Be Different” is unveiled

By: Sally Kinsey  |   | 

Popular novelist Maria Semple's new book 'Today Will Be Different' has been released.

Maria Semple is funny, a rarer quality than it should be among the literary writers. Few books made the readers laugh more than her 2012 Novel 'Where’d you Go, Bernadette?' and Maria’s humor shines just radiantly in Today Will Be Different.

It is the main reason many liked her new novel, a disruptive thrill in the mind of an exasperating narrator that is, however, wholly enjoyable. Today Will Be Different looks at a day of Eleanor Flood's life, a depressed, disorganized misanthrope who’s gone from animation director of a famous TV show to a full-time wife and mom. Her spouse, Joe, is a renowned hand surgeon and their 8-year-old son Timby studies at Galer Streer School, the ruinously expensive private school.

We meet the main character of the novel, Eleanor Flood, on a day when she has set to change some things about her life. The book starts with the description of her determination as: “Today I will be different. Today, anyone I’m speaking to, I will look them in the eye and listen deeply. Today I’ll play a board game with Timby.

I’ll initiate sex with Joe. Today I will take pride in my appearance. I’ll shower get dressed in proper clothes and only change my yoga clothes for yoga, which today I will actually attend. Today I won’t swear. I won’t talk about money. Today there will be an ease about me. My face will be relaxed, its resting place a smile.

Today I will radiate calm. Kindness and self-control will abound. Today I will buy local. Today I will be my best self, the person I’m capable of being. Today I will be different.”

A photo posted by Maria Semple (@mariacsemple) on

Eleanor’s family recently left New York moving to Seattle, where she had worked as an animator on a popular TV show. She is still working a bit however, she has also become overwhelmed by basics of everyday life.

Press reported that Semple says “She has decided, instead of trying to accomplish a lot, to set the bar very low for herself…and try to at least get through the day with just a basic amount of dignity.”

Semple continues to carve out her own Seattle & her own world. Mashing-up the high and low shaking the reader, ad, in fact, it is a Semple specialty. On a level of language, even a choice of somewhat disturbing-sounding ‘steakish’ makes the sense of absurdity and uneasiness.

The novel like, its character Eleanor, is a bit messy. There’s a fifty-page chunk of pure backstory in the middle of this single day story. Comedy dialogues run now and then, but it is unrelentingly entertaining. Eleanor is less convincing as a helpless and love-seeking character than as a miserable & caustic one.

Today Will be Different is a hilarious and heart-filled story reinvention, sisterhood, & how sometimes it takes tackling up to our former selves to truly start living.

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