Today Will Be Different by Maria Semple

Rating – 4.5 out of 5

Today will be different, Elenor a middle-aged woman on the edge, tells herself. Her son is having issues in school, her husband has lied to her and worst of all she must see her friend for lunch. Over the course of a day, we see Elenor deal with her issues, however indelicately. She becomes a human with complex, if exceptional problems showing complicated love and family can be.

Favorite Quote

“When Joe declared on Highway 82 in Aspen that he was done with Ivy, he meant it… One thing I will say against Joe: He expects me to do the same. Joe can be done with Ivy. I will never be done with Ivy. I don’t want to be done with Ivy. She’s my sister.”

Today Will be Different, Pg. 256.

Why I liked Today Will be Different

I read this book in a week where I was able to see my sisters, which made me enjoy this book all the more. As you can see in the photo, last week I was traveling in airports to see family for a special occasion, a graduation of a beloved sister. Today Will be Different was the perfect novel to read as it was the perfect subject matter yet had the lightness of a novel by Semple.

This book, though not as good as Semple’s Where’d you Go, Bernadette (which you can get here) still has the same type of focus on family. Elenor is surrounded by the little family she has created and haunted by the family that has left her behind. As someone who has a complex family myself, I can identify with these feelings about connection to ones siblings. My family is nowhere near as messy as Elenor’s but the fact remains that my sisters are my sisters and they will always be that.

As the plot of a novel goes, this book has a narrow scope, as the main action only covers a day. There are many flash backs to a time when Elenor was younger, but all of that backstory is to explain the present. I felt that there was not enough action in this story and many contrived twists and turns. The drama of Today Will be Different has to do with many past hurts. If the novel had been about those to begin with it might have been better. Over all, though, I was entertained and liked the message that you will never be truly done with you siblings.


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